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Los Angeles’ famed Walt Disney Concert Hall will soon have a neighbor whose architecture hopes to stand up to architect Frank Gehry’s bold concert hall design.

“The Broad,” the new museum of the Broad Art Foundation, will be located on Los Angeles’ Grand Street across from the concert hall and the Museum of Contemporary Art. The design, by New York firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro, is a white, modern honeycomb façade that is lit from the top, with the top floor gallery having a glass roof.

Nearly 2,000 pieces will be housed in the three-story, 120,000 square foot building. A third of that space alone, nearly an acre, will be devoted to column-free gallery space. Other public space will include a shop, bookstore, espresso café and lobby on the first floor, as well as an adjoining multi-media space.

The Broad will also offer ample archive, study and storage space so that the building can function holistically as an art institution, for both the public and scholars.

The architect, Elizabeth Diller, and funders Eli and Edythe Broad have referred to the building’s design as “the veil and the vault,” because of the dual nature of the use of the interior spaces. Because the museum’s archival work is so important, the building’s design ensures that the private research space, r “vault,” is visible instead of hidden away: located in the center of the building, the vault’s carved underside helps characterize the lobby, and its roof serves as an exhibition floor. Additionally, A winding stairway takes visitors from the lobby to exhibition space through the vault, offering behind-the-scenes peeks into the museum’s lending and collections operations.

The “veil” refers to the cellular sheath that covers the vault, the design of which mirrors the honeycomb-like cells that comprised the building’s exterior.

“Our goal for the museum is to hold its ground next to Gehry’s much larger and very exuberant Walt Disney Concert Hall through contrast,” Diller said said in a recent statement. “As opposed to Disney Hall’s smooth and shiny exterior that reflects light, The Broad will be porous and absorptive, channeling light into its public spaces and galleries. The veil will play a role in the urbanization of Grand Avenue by activating two-way views that connect the museum and the street.”


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