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Thread: Eli Broad - Proposal for a New Museum of Art - Los Angeles

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    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Default Eli Broad - Proposal for a New Museum of Art - Los Angeles

    Eli Broad Said to Pick Site for New Museum

    NY TIMES
    By NICOLAI OUROUSSOFF
    May 24, 2010

    Where will Eli Broad build his museum? For months, Los Angeles’s most influential philanthropist and art collector has publicly toyed with various locations for a museum to house his contemporary-art collection. Although a Beverly Hills site fell out of the running in mid-April, Mr. Broad told The Los Angeles Times just over two weeks ago that he was still considering both a Santa Monica site and one downtown, on Grand Avenue.

    But according to several people directly involved in the project, who asked not to be named because they are not authorized to speak about the matter or have signed confidentiality agreements, Mr. Broad has been pursuing development of the downtown site, next door to the Walt Disney Concert Hall, for several months now.

    Early this year the Los Angeles architect Thom Mayne began working on a design for the downtown site at Mr. Broad’s request. Then in early April, after that plan was abandoned, Mr. Broad initiated a secret competition among six architecture teams, all of whom were asked to sign confidentiality agreements, for the same site. The teams — from the offices of Rem Koolhaas; Diller Scofidio & Renfro; Christian de Portzamparc; Sanaa; Foreign Office Architects; and Herzog & de Meuron — presented their designs to a competition jury last week.

    According to two of the sources, the jury recommended the schemes by Diller Scofido & Renfro and Mr. Koolhaas, and Mr. Broad could make a final choice as early as this week.

    Through a spokeswoman Mr. Broad confirmed the names of the six firms, though he declined to offer any other details of the competition; nor would he confirm the downtown location as the museum’s planned site. In a statement he added that a decision on both the site and the architect was expected “later this spring.”

    The museum building, which would stand next to Disney Hall, designed by Frank Gehry, and across the street from the Museum of Contemporary Art, would hold Mr. Broad’s collection, which includes major works by Jeff Koons, Cindy Sherman, Joseph Beuys and Andy Warhol. The competition brief calls for roughly 35,000 square feet of gallery space and a 45,000-square-foot archive of works, to be used as a lending library for art museums around the world.

    With a level of detail unusual for such a brief, Mr. Broad specified, according to those familiar with his plans, that a 5,000-square-foot lobby, a 3,500-square-foot bookstore and part of the archives should be located on the first floor; archives, office space and a conference room on the second; and the galleries on the third and final floor, so that they could be illuminated with skylights.

    Part of the architects’ challenge was the site location next to Mr. Gehry’s creation, a flamboyant 2,265-seat hall enveloped in ribbons of steel that has become a beloved city landmark. According to those who have seen the designs, the majority chose a calmer, boxy architectural language in order not to compete with Mr. Gehry’s forms at the Disney Hall. The Diller Scofidio & Renfro scheme, one of the two preferred by the jury, is wrapped in a perforated skin, with its northeast corner, the one closest to the concert hall, rising as if had been pried up by a can opener — much the same approach that the firm used in its design for Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. Mr. Koolhaas, the other favorite, proposed a vaultlike aluminum block that sits above a glass lobby surrounded on four sides by a shaded public plaza.

    Mr. Broad has been a longtime champion of the transformation of Grand Avenue into the Los Angeles cultural acropolis. In the late 1990s he led the fund-raising drive to complete Disney Hall, which raised more than $100 million.

    Soon after, he helped to found the Grand Avenue Committee, a group formed to oversee additional development of the avenue. (He resigned from the committee last year.) In 2008 he rescued the Museum of Contemporary Art from near financial collapse with a $30 million gift, and more recently he was a key figure in the selection of its new director, Jeffrey Deitch.

    The proximity of the downtown site to the contemporary museum suggests the possibility, at least, of close collaboration between the two institutions in the future. According to two people familiar with his project, Mr. Broad has left open the possibility that the ground-floor archives could eventually be transformed into gallery space that could one day be shared by both.

    Copyright 2010 The New York Times Company

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    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    A prior proposal for the rejuvenation of LA's Grand Avenue, from Frank Gehry, showing the area where Eli Broad would build his new museum:


    A view of Frank Gehry’s plan for a retail, residential and entertainment complex
    on a parcel of land in Los Angeles, across Grand Avenue from the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion,
    foreground, and Walt Disney Concert Hall, right.


    Previously From CURBED LA:

    ... the Los Angeles Grand Avenue Authority authorized discussions on the possibility of leasing a plot of land—a site right next to the Redcat Gallery on lower Grand Ave—to the philanthropist for the art museum. "This is a great opportunity for the city," said City Councilwoman Jan Perry, who sits on the Grand Avenue Authority board, in a statement. “A world class city like Los Angeles is the perfect location for a museum of this caliber. I look forward to working with The Broad Foundation in exploring this project and hope that they will seriously consider downtown as they move forward."

    Under this proposal, the museum and associated parking structure would rise on lower Grand, taking up part of the site known as parcel L (currently being used a parking lot). The lot is across the street, and down a block from Parcel Q, from the site of the planned Frank Gerhy-tower designed hotel, housing, and retail development.



    More today at CURBED LA

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    This is good news for LA.

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    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    The design by Diller, Scofidio + Renfro, from CURBED LA and elsewhere ...

    Video Reveal of Diller Scofidio + Renfro's Honeycomb Hideout



    VIDEO FLY-THRU

    ARCH DAILY:

    Design Unveiled for the Broad Museum by Diller Scofidio + Renfro

    The LA TIMES:

    IMAGES: Broad Art Foundation



    Broad Art Foundation

    (Diller Scofidio+Renfro)

    Here's a look at the architectural design for the Broad, the three-story museum that will house Eli Broad's contemporary art collection and his foundation on Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles. It was designed by New York architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro. As seen in this rendering, the building opens itself up at the 2nd Street corner, lifting its concrete skin in the direction of Walt Disney Concert Hall.

    LA TIMES CULTURE MONSTER BLOG:

    Design of the Broad museum building is still upside down -- and now we know why (Updated)

    Do the galleries of a contemporary art museum really benefit very much from natural light filtering in from skylights overhead?

    No, not much – but you wouldn’t know that from Thursday morning’s public performance at Disney Concert Hall, where the design of the new Broad Art Foundation’s building was unveiled. The Romantic, 19th century Beaux Arts ideal of sky-lighted art galleries has unfortunately guided the design program of a building intended for 20th and 21st century art.

    Diller Scofidio + Renfro architect Elizabeth Diller, who certainly talks a good building, spent considerable enthusiastic energy at the unveiling discussing the capability of natural light to illuminate the top-floor galleries. A “continuous skylight” aligned to cardinal north is planned to provide diffuse illumination. That capability is a primary reason for locating the 38,000 square-feet of art display space -– the building’s chief public function -- a one-way escalator ride up to the building’s third floor, above the café, lounge, book store, storage vaults and offices that will occupy the Broad’s ground level and second floor. (Updated: Rick Scofidio's name was mispelled in an earlier version of this post.)

    Natural light is essential to deep appreciation of art made before artists’ studios had the capacity to be illuminated by electric light. From Munich’s exemplary Alte Pinakothek, inaugurated in 1836, to the J. Paul Getty Museum’s beautiful upstairs rooms a century and a half later, European paintings made from the 14th through at least the 18th century are bathed in much the same living, breathing sunlight, usually filtered to eliminate as many harmful UV rays as possible, that prevailed when the artists made them.

    But once the incandescent light bulb came along, finally becoming ubiquitous in the 20th century, the standard correspondence between natural light and painting changed forever. The more that Modern and contemporary artists joined collage, found objects, assemblage, photographs, installation art, video and more to art's traditional repertoire of painting and sculpture, working mostly under artificial illumination, the less natural light mattered. For artists, studio space with ideal north-facing windows is now quaint.

    In fact, looking just at the Broad Art Foundation’s nine recent acquisitions (of some 2,000 works overall) listed on its website, natural light can even be contemporary art’s enemy. More than half the recent purchases are big works on paper -- painted, drawn or photographed -- which need protection from daylight, not exposure to it. That’s one reason the Broad’s incomparable collection of Cindy Sherman photographs is usually installed in the basement rooms of the foundation’s current Santa Monica building: There's not a window in sight.

    Don’t get me wrong. Natural light is always nice in a building. Most of the galleries across the street at the Museum of Contemporary Art are illuminated by skylights, which help alleviate the glum experience of going downstairs, below street-level, to enter an art museum. And natural light can also contribute mightily to making some older painting installations -- say, Mark Rothko from the 1950s --truly ravishing.
    But Christopher Wool or Ed Ruscha or almost all the others in the Broad collection? Not so much. The play of natural light just doesn't matter to most contemporary art.

    Often, MOCA even has to cover up those skylights to protect the art below, as it has for several rooms in its current installation. At the new Broad, the cost of the out-of-date natural-light fetish has been to put most of the art upstairs, off the hoped-for lively pedestrian thoroughfare of Grand Avenue.

    The third floor would have been a terrific location for a lounge, bookstore, lecture hall and café with views over Disney Hall and downtown, which wouldn’t compete with the art. Maybe even an outdoor rooftop sculpture garden would have been nice. (Jeff Koons' "Balloon Dog," anyone?) But because of a basic conceptual flaw in the architecture, which doesn’t grasp the material reality of contemporary art objects, it was not to be.

    At least now we know for certain why the DS+R building design is upside down.

  6. #6

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    Looks cool. Is this in a pedestrian friendly part of LA?

  7. #7
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Not really. They're trying to transform the area to make it more so.

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