The Broad unveils new public plaza

12 Feb 2014

High Line architects partner with Hood Design on 24,000 sq ft plaza in Los Angeles

With the opening of The Broad Art Museum in Los Angeles now delayed until 2015 due to crafting of its complex skin known as ‘the veil’, the institution has unveiled the design for its new public plaza.

Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Hood Design, the 24,000 sq ft plaza is located to the south of the museum. It will add critical green space to the region and make downtown Los Angeles’ cultural corridor more pedestrian friendly. 

The plaza features a bosque of 100-year-old olive trees as well as enhanced landscaping and improvements along Grand Avenue, the main cultural corridor of L.A. Characterized by dappled sunlight and including crushed stone paving and flowering groundcover, the bosque will provide a buffer and counterpoint to the activity on the street. 

An open and sunlit lawn will complement the more intimate scale of the bosque of olives and provide a venue for The Broad’s outdoor public programming, which will include films, performances, receptions and educational events.

The plaza will also have a freestanding restaurant at its western edge to be developed by Bill Chait and his company Sprout. A native Angeleno, Chait has developed and operated a number of successful restaurant concepts in downtown L.A.’s arts district.

“Our design for the plaza taps into the new spirit of downtown L.A, mixing culture, recreation and food.  The neighboring institutions will be able to share the landscaped space for both passive and lively programming, day and night. 

"The grove of 100-year-old olive trees is a counterpoint to the newness of the surrounding buildings and the artifice of the bridge over General Thaddeus Kosciusko Way that supports this landscape,” said Elizabeth Diller.   

Since Grand Park opened in 2013, visitors have flocked to this downtown oasis to picnic, play and enjoy recreational and educational activities,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. 

He continued: “This new public plaza next to The Broad is an exciting addition that will help realize the city and county’s vision for the Grand Avenue Project and will further meet the demand for outdoor green space on Bunker Hill, as people come from far and near to enjoy the region’s cultural and culinary amenities."

The plaza is scheduled to open in fall 2014. The Broad will open in 2015.

Sharon McHugh
US Correspondent

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