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Road to “The Broad”: Design Announced for Eli&#146s LA Museum UPDATED

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Rendering of The Broad, the planned new LA museum for Eli Broad’s art collection

Dubbed “The Broad” (as distinguished from the Broad Contemporary Art Museum at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art), Eli Broad‘s new 120,000-square-foot contemporary art showcase in downtown LA, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro for the mega-collector’s 2,000-object art collection, will consist of “almost an acre of column-free gallery space, a lecture hall for up to
200 people, a ground floor multimedia gallery,…state-of-the-art archive, study and art storage space,” according to the Broad Art Foundation’s announcement.

The off-kilter rendering, above, that accompanied the announcement on the foundation’s website appears to differ substantially from the image that illustrates Mike Boehm‘s advance report of the plans for the LA Times. In the newspaper’s photo, the structure appears to be a series of  horizontal layers.

Presumably all will be clarified at today’s press conference, scheduled for 11 a.m. Pacific time at the acclaimed Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall, which will be The Broad’s neighbor on Grand Avenue.

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The Broad will be to the left of Gehry’s Disney Concert Hall, shown above

The new museum’s original plan, announced in August, called for the building to cost some $80-100 million. Boehm now reports the cost as $130 million.

But what we all really want to know is: Will visitors walking into the lobby still be brought “face to face, through glass, with drivers on their way down to the museum’s parking garage,” as had been reported in August by the LA TimesChristopher Hawthorne? Will car-centric LA finally get its first drive-through museum?

UPDATE
: The answer, for now, is: No drive-through, as reported today in a detailed piece on the facility’s design by Hawthorne. Leaving the car culture outside could (to my mind, not Hawthorne’s) be a GOOD thing! Hawthorne has also informed me that the layered image published with Boehm’s piece is “simply a section diagram to show the different levels, NOT an architectural rendering proper.”

(That wasn’t made clear in the newspaper’s caption for the photo, which merely called it and “artist’s rendering” of the design for the new museum.)

Broad, 77, indicated that the new museum’s opening, scheduled for winter 2012-2013, couldn’t come soon enough for him. He told Boehm:

I’m impatient, I’m not getting any younger. We don’t want this to be a memorial building.

Whatever life holds, it should enhance his lasting legacy to LA.

an ArtsJournal blog