California’s most anticipated cultural event of 2015 finally arrives this Sunday when The Broad Museum opens its doors to the public.
We went. It was indeed nuts.
Regardless of where you live, it’s worth a trip to Downtown Los Angeles to see it.
And here are five reasons why:
1. The Building
To contrast the smooth and shiny Walt Disney Concert Hall next door, architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro designed a fluid, lattice-like structure they call “The Veil” that wraps around the building. The veil is made of 2,500 fiberglass-reinforced concrete panels and 650 tons of steel.
The Broad’s collection officially numbers 2,000 pieces. We went ahead and added the building itself to get that tally to 2,001. The lobby is dark and gray and very much feels lifted from a Tim Burton movie. You take the 105-foot escalator up to the main floor — it’s like passing through a birth canal when you emerge into a room flooded with diffused sunlight thanks to 318 skylights.
2. The Vault
The vault makes up the bulk of the structure. Most museums keep their collections in vaults located in dark, offsite locations. Located on the second floor, you can catch glimpses of the Broad’s vault through super-thick glass windows in the matte, battleship-gray Venetian plaster.
3. Step Into Space
Expect a long line for Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room. You wait. And wait. And then you go inside of a room that feels like stepping into deep space for a mere 45 seconds. You’ll be okay with this.
4. The Restaurant Grows Its Own Food On-Site
The museum’s restaurant, Otium, has a farm’s worth of vegetables planted on the roof: 864 plants grown in partnership with Green City Farms. The brains behind it: chef Tim Hollingsworth (Barrel & Ashes, French Laundry) and restaurateur Bill Chiat (pretty much every major LA restaurant). Otium will maximize indoor and outdoor seating along the museum’s mezzanine garden. They’re doing chef-driven California cuisine, so lots of wood-fire roasting and fresh vegetables.
5. 2,000 Works of Art!
Lichtenstein. Koons. Ruscha. Early Warhol. Eli and Edythe Broad have one of the most widely recognized collections of postwar and contemporary art on the globe, the product of collecting for five decades. For a long time, they were loaning items to museums throughout the world. Now these treasures are housed in their hometown. The art is located in a 15,000-square-foot space on the first floor and a 35,000-square-foot space on the third floor.