Los Angeles is growing on me. I’ve only started liking LA after working in Architecture. Despite the city is a huge sprawl designed for the car and I really hate driving, there is something to appreciate about it. The separation allows nodes to develop their distinct identity while unanimously conforming to LA’s lowrise city grid. In this circumstance, the sprawl actually helps to make sure these nodes are not too influenced by their neighboring nodes. There is an unfathomable appreciation to Art & Design in this city. Maybe it is partly because of Hollywood or perhaps the car culture associated with the design of the grid of the city. None the less, people are very well dress maybe because they are expected to look a certain way but noone expects them to act a certain way (take a look at the celebs). While driving around, I encountered pockets of interesting Architecture/Landscapes and sometimes people in a sea of banal.
This last trip, I was lucky enough to visit the Broad Museum designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro (associate: Gensler). Their work is truly inspiring. I have visited the Highline & Lincoln Center in New York as well as ICA in Boston. Each of these projects brought with it a sense to place and intensity that is very unique to their respective city. Situated across from Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall (Images here), the broad has just enough details to scream for attention, but done in a subtle way.
The organization of the museum is conceptualize as a Veil over the Vault. Because of the extremely large storage in the museum, the entire belly (center/heart) of the museum is solid and where art that is not on display is stored. As you walk into the building, you are walking underneath the vault and into the light sensitive gallery. You take a 80 foot long Escalator up and through the vault landing you into the gallery space on the roof of the vault. It is the most lite museum gallery space I’ve ever visited other than Renzo Piano’s Sculpture Museum in Dallas. It was open (no column) and well lite naturally thanks to hundreds of swoop shape skylight panels nested between all the steel structural members in the roof. There is a lot of wonder in the construction of this building. It look me a while to realize it is a concrete building with precast GFRC panels anchored to the steel facade/roof frame. These systems are working flawlessly in this building. See below for some images I pulled of the construction.
If you plan to visit the Broad, be sure to reserve a ticket online. I was not fortunate enough to get one but I did show up 40 minutes before opening and manage to get in with the first group of people. If you plan to go in 2015, make sure to check out the Infinity Mirrored Room – The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away by Yayoi Kusama. Its worth the wait.
Image credit: LA TIMES
Image credit: the broad
My Images Below: