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Eli Broad close to selecting a site, architect for California museum

Billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad is farther along in his plans for a new museum than anybody knew, according to a report in the Los Angles Times. Broad is said to be favouring the downtown Los Angeles site on Grand Avenue next to the Walt Disney Concert Hall and across from the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Earlier this year Broad had Thom Mayne working on a design for that site. Then in April, he abandoned that plan and quietly initiated a design competition among six architects, including four Pritzker Prize winners. The Pritzker laureates are Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas of the Office of Metropolitan Architect; Swiss pair Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron; French architect Christian de Portzamparc; and Japanese duo Nishizawa and Kazuyo Sejima of SANAA. The other invited firms are New York-based Diller Scofidio & Renfro and London’s Foreign Office Architect (FOA). FOA was a bit of a surprise as it announced earlier this year plans to close its practice as the main partners, who are married, are getting a divorce.

Broad has said he wants to move quickly on the new museum. Assuming he can get the needed site plan approvals expeditiously, Broad hopes to open its doors by 2012 or 2013. Broad envisions the building will house roughly 40,000 square feet of exhibition space.

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