Spotlight on The Broad, Winner of the AIA Award

The results are in. Nine innovative, creative and beautiful structures have won the American Institute of Architecture’s 2018 Architecture awards. A panelist of juries awarded a variety of structures including a school, fire station, court house, Riverwalk and museums.

One of those winners is the Broad art museum of downtown Los Angeles. The building welcomes thousands of art lovers every year. More than 2,000 works of contemporary art live in the 200-by-200-foot site. Japanese contemporary artist Yayoi Kusama’s famous Infinity Mirror Rooms are one of the most exciting draws to the museum supported by billionaire Eli Broad. The Broad’s architecture is a work in itself and its design fosters a dynamic experience inside the museum.

The museum’s site had severe size limits and architects utilized a veiled exterior and vault shape to maximize design potential. The AIA jury said “the dark, body-like, shapely vault is a beautiful counterpoint to the bright, thick, patterned light veil.” It’s five sides are matte and made of glass fiber and reinforced concrete. The exterior’s light shines through holes shaped like honeycombs. The inside is filled with the light coming through these pseudo-windows. The natural light is complemented by pillar-free galleries on the third floor of the museum. It’s an open environment that invites wandering and thoughtfulness in the gallery.

Gallery visitors are invited to roam around the space and between the veil and vault. The architecture not only supports but enhances the contemporary art experience.