01/06/2011 05:28 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The Broad Art Foundation Unveils Plans For Downtown Museum

Today, billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad and the Broad Art Foundation unveiled architectural renderings of an art gallery (which will be known as The Broad) planned for Downtown Los Angeles. "LA is the capital of the world... it has great art schools and more museum gallery space for contemporary art than any other city," Broad declared. The construction site is across the street from the Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), further cementing the area's status as a cultural epicenter of Los Angeles. "This has been some 40 years in the making," said Broad. Building is expected to start this summer for completion in 2013. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was there at the announcement and praised the Broads for their leadership and persistence: "Wow. That's just the best way to describe the contributions of Eli and Edythe Broad."

Councilwoman Jan Perry was also on hand to speak about the effects the Downtown Renaissance has had on Los Angeles' economy over the past years. More than 500,000 people are employed downtown, and private investors have poured in $15.5 billion over a decade. In addition to contributing culturally, The Broad is expected to create 1,300 direct and indirect jobs for construction (which means $80 million in total salary), as well as 100 full-time jobs to run the museum.

Renderings by architectural firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro

Broad's New Plans

In addition to an exhibition space, the museum will also encompass a storage and archive vault for the Broad Art Foundation's worldwide lending library, works of which will be loaned to galleries throughout the world. The Foundation explains, "Rather than relegate the archive/storage to secondary status, the 'vault,' plays a key role in shaping the museum experience from entry to exit." The vault's curved underside serves as the ceiling of the lobby, while the top of the vault is almost an acre's worth of gallery space. Surrounding the vault is a white honeycomb "veil."


The museum is also set to include a lecture hall and a multimedia gallery. LAist notes that these final plans are lacking some of the features that were originally included in the structure:

... digital screens that would have face 2nd and Grand, and a plan to have drivers entering the parking garage see patrons through glass in the lobby on foot, and vice versa, both of which, as left out, represent a missed opportunity to connect the outside with the inside, and to bring together LA's car culture with those on foot.

The total cost of Eli and Edythe Broad's art collection, museum, and endowment gift to Los Angeles is $2 billion.