The 120,000-square-foot Broad museum in Los Angeles opens to the public on Sunday. The new contemporary art museum, designed by New York firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro with Gensler, will house roughly 2,000 pieces from the collection of Eli and Edythe Broad. ARCHITECT contributor Joseph Giovannini wrote about the project earlier this month:
"DS+R designed the skin of the building as a field of 2,500 rhomboidal modular panels of fiberglass reinforced concrete, distantly recalling the panelized façades of Marcel Breuer’s buildings from the Sixties—but distorted. With parametrics, the honeycomb exoskeleton, suspended on a steel frame, was designed so that all panels, acting collectively as a brise-soleil, have orientations calibrated to shield the interior from direct sunlight, regardless of the season or time of day. A wormhole in the skin of the façade creates an exceptional moment, a singularity within the field of subtly differentiated panels that signals an exceptional space within, the auditorium. The rooflines appear to slope, as though in forced, two-point perspective, a perceptual illusion resulting from a grid stretched like panty hose to guarantee proper solar orientation."
Other critics have weighed in as well. Paul Goldberger, Hon. AIA, writes in Vanity Fair: "This is a building that can be architecturally exciting, and it is also a building that can be a good place for the display of art. What is unfortunate is that achieving the second quality depends to a large extent on suppressing the first." In The Guardian, Oliver Wainwright describes the structure as "a startling concrete box perforated with thousands of angular holes, giving it the look of a supersized cheese grater – ready to shred any other building that dares come close." And the city's own Christopher Hawthorne writes in the Los Angeles Times: "The elements of the Broad that have been most closely scrutinized or most often reworked, in fact, are the most uneven. It is only in the relative shadows — in the peripheral or easily overlooked spaces, or in the rooms added or enlarged late in the design process — that the architecture of the museum really comes to life." Read how the architects describe the project in ARCHITECT's Project Gallery.