Diller Scofidio + Renfro unveils expansion for The Broad in downtown Los Angeles

“Veil and Vault”

Diller Scofidio + Renfro unveils expansion for The Broad in downtown Los Angeles

Exterior rendering of the future Broad expansion from Hope Street (Plomp/Courtesy of The Broad and DS+R)

Joanne Heyler, founding director of The Broad, announced recently that Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R) has been tapped to help expand The Broad Museum. The firm completed the downtown Los Angeles art museum with its distinctive “honeycomb-like” facade in 2015.

Today, The Broad has over 2,000 artworks, and counting. Pieces by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jeff Koons, Barbara Kruger, Roy Lichtenstein, Takashi Murakami, Cindy Sherman, Kara Walker, and Andy Warhol are on view and in its vaults. Looking ahead, The Broad has expressed a commitment to include artists that have “historically been left out of the canon and the art market,” museum officials said. Toward that end, new acquisitions by Lauren Halsey, David Hammons, Martin Puryear, Amy Sherald, and Hank Willis Thomas, among others, have been added to The Broad’s collection.

Moreover, the building regularly attracts almost four times as many visitors than originally envisioned, thus necessitating the addition. The 55,000-square-foot expansion by DS+R will contain many of these newly acquired works. It will grow The Broad’s footprint by 70 percent from Grand Avenue to Hope Street, and help accommodate the institution’s mounting collection.

Renderings show an accompanying volume that matches the height of the existing museum albeit with a noticeably different material. Architects from DS+R said that the expansion opens a new perspective on the “veil and vault” concept the studio introduced on the site in 2015. The expansion’s exterior mimics the existing building’s interior surfaces, as if the building’s core has been exposed and “unveiled” the architects said. This is meant to symbolize The Broad’s commitment to public access. Curated apertures at various intervals throughout the smooth facade allow natural light to carefully pour into the gallery spaces.

rendering of the broad museum expansion
A plaza connects the museum with the adjacent streetscape and nearby transit (Plomp/Courtesy of The Broad and DS+R)

“I think of the new building as a companion to the existing Broad,” Elizabeth Diller said in a statement. “The pair shares DNA, but each has its own distinct character and purpose in constant dialogue with its counterpart. The original Broad was conceived as an unfolding experience starting in the lobby, traveling up the escalator piercing the vault, landing in the third-floor gallery immersed in the collection, then snaking down through collection storage on the way back to the street. The challenge of adding more space to the building was to retain this intuitive circulation and logic while introducing a set of completely new experiences for the visitor.”

The addition itself will contain large new galleries on the first, second, and third floors. On the second floor, visitors will be able to move among racks of artworks from The Broad’s collection. This creates a zone that functions both as a gallery and art storage. There will also be two top-floor, open air courtyards for visitors to enjoy art outdoors; and more space for flexible live programming will be included to host concerts, multimedia installations, and other performances.

gallery view
In the gallery spaces large windows carve out view out toward the city (Plomp/Courtesy of The Broad and DS+R)

Outside, there will be a new covered plaza, Hilda Solis Plaza, for Metro riders coming from the Grand Avenue Arts/Bunker Hill station. That public space is named after Hilda Solis, Los Angeles County’s first district supervisor. It’s meant to create a gateway from public transit to Grand Avenue’s vibrant arts corridor, businesses, residences, hotels, and dining options.

“In the brief period since 2015, our building has become an icon in Los Angeles’s cultural and civic landscape,” Heyler said in a statement. “With this expansion, we intend to amplify The Broad’s commitment to access for all to contemporary art, offering surprising, welcoming, and imaginative experiences that honor the diversity of our public and add to the ever-growing vitality of Grand Avenue, the area that Eli Broad believed in so strongly and that he helped transform into what it is today.”

Construction will break ground in early 2025 during The Broad’s tenth anniversary ceremonies. Museum officials say the expansion will open to the public in time for the 2028 Summer Olympics, and that general admissions will continue to be free.