When you first see The Broad, you might think of an upside-down box. But then from an architect’s point of view, you start to see the relationship of the skin to the ground and how the building meets the ground and creates this incredible space that brings people together. Fascination and excitement was filling me from the moment I left the house. I could not wait to get to Downtown and seen The Broad, an incredible example of architecture. As an architecture student, my curiosity was killing me. I wanted to experience the space of the museum, touch it, feel it, and see how architecture changes the world around us. The Broad is a contemporary art museum on Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles. It opened on September 20,2015. The founders of the museum are Eli and Edythe Broad. They financed the $140 million building, which houses the Broad art collections. The museum offers free general admission to its permanent collection galleries which is incredible. The Broad is designed by architecture firm Diller Scofidio +Renfro and structural engineering firm Leslie E. Robertson Associates.
The Broad across from the Walt Disney Concert Hall
The museum is located next to the Walt Disney Concert Hall designed by Frank Gehry. The Walt Disney Concert Hall has a bright metallic perforated exterior which is mesmerizing. When you look at the building you see and feel the colossal movement. The design intention of the Broad is meant to contrast to the design of the Walt Disney Concert Hall.
The “oculus,” a window in a second-floor meeting room
As I walked towards the Broad with my sister, it was very interesting how the skin was folded up and created an entry to the museum. The exterior of the Broad is based on the idea of a “honeycomb”. The concept of the building is “the veil and the vault”. The veil is the exterior porous envelope that wraps the whole building. The skin of the building filters and transmits daylight to the interior space. The skin is made of 2,500 rhomboidal panels made in fiberglass reinforced concrete supported by a 650-ton steel substructure. The vault is the concrete body of the museum that forms the core of the building which is devoted to artworks’ storage, offices, laboratories, and curatorial spaces.
Connection of skin panels
Yeahhhhhh!! That's me!
I was amazed how massive the museum looks. I looked like a very tiny person next to it. I thought “Wow, this is amazing! This is an incredible and huge footprint on our Earth! It inspired me with a thought that one day maybe I can me part of something big like this, something that would change a world”.
As an architecture student, I walked around the museum and looked at every detail of how the skin touches the building. How the building meets the ground, how it created some unique spaces in-between exterior and interior. Experiencing all this personally was so very different than reading and looking at the pictures. We learn to look at the world differently and see things that are not visible.
The Plate Sculpture
While waiting in line noticed something very interesting to me. I could see inside the museum from outside, how people were wondering around, their expressions and emotions. Group of friends had surprised and excited expressions on their faces while looking at the sculpture of huge plates stacked on top of each other. They were laughing and looking around the sculpture.
Overview of the First Floor
It is time…. doors were open and we are walking inside. I could not contain my excitement. It was a unique space where ceiling and floor would interconnect and a create a specific atmosphere. The space was kind of dark grey and the lights on the ceiling reminded me of stars.
The escalator to the 3rd floor
From the dark space, we took an escalator to go up. We did not expect what was waiting for us. It was a transition from one space to another that had different atmospheres and different lighting. It was an amazing experience. This is how architecture should be, an interconnection of unique spaces what lead into each other and create a flow of movement.
The Broad has around 2,000-piece contemporary art collection. It includes works by Cindy Sherman, Jeff Koons, Ed Ruscha, Andy Warhol, and Roy Liechtenstein, Yoyoi Kusama, Ragnar Kjartansson, Julie Mehretu, and Goshka Macuga.
Flow of spaces through the museum create a journey that brings people together and puts emphasis on different exhibitions throughout the museum.
One of the incredible things in the museum is the ability to see how the art is stored. There is a special place that has a window to the storage. You can imagine how the paintings move throughout the environment.
The Broad includes a public plaza. Walter Hood was the landscape architect for the plaza. There are 100-year-old Barouni olive trees.
The Broad is an incredible place to visit in Los Angeles. It is a beautiful museum that has incredible contemporary art pieces. You can find out new things about architecture and see some famous contemporary art. The museum brings Los Angeles community together.