WAN Civic Buildings Award 2016 Winner Announced

Christina Ingram
Thursday 01 Sep 2016

Striking, innovative and straightforward, Diller Scofidio Renfro in collaboration with Gensler selected as the winner for The Broad

We are excited to announce this year’s winner for the WAN Civic Buildings Award 2016 is Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler for their inspiring and innovative The Broad congratulations!

Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler were selected from a final shortlist of six exceptional projects. The competition showcased an outstanding and diverse range of the finest in public sector architecture from across the globe. 

Selected for their experience in this sector our judging panel for 2016 were: Elad Eisenstein, Director Urban Design of Mecanoo architecten, Nicholas Garrison, Partner of FXFOWLE, Patricia Ann Lady Hopkins, Co-founding Partner of Hopkins, Tim Sahuri, Principal of SAHURI + partners architecture inc., Peter Murray, Chairman of New London Architecture and David Naessens, Co-director of Carr Cotter Naessens Architects.  

The experienced jury all agreed with absolute conviction that The Broad from Los Angeles, USA, deserved to claim this year’s winning title.

Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler merged a philosophical and functional response to the core missions of the Broad Art Foundation: maximum visibility of their contemporary art collection and optimal transparency of their archives and lending repository, the design which has been dubbed “the veil and the vault,” presents a new, if idiosyncratic, paradigm shift in archive and exhibition design by inverting conventional notions of museum planning and programming. 

Located in Grand Avenue Los Angeles, The Broad occupies a key component in the downtown revitalisation plan for which Grand Avenue has emerged as a cultural district.

The Broad’s form merges a dual response to its limited site and its architectural context. Designed in contrast to its architectural leadership of its context on a site that is only 200 feet wide by 200 feet deep and limited to a 70 foot zoning envelope, it dictated the building’s maximum footprint and rectilinear form.

The judges were impressed by the small footprint with Peter sharing: “They use this site very well, the façade is within the urban context and works well. A very simple cut-away of that corner creates a very striking entrance.”

The veil - a light, airy, prefabricated cellular curtain wall façade, designed and developed through a CATIA (BIM) model - cloaks the block-long building while allowing diffused and filtered natural light into the interiors and galleries. Discussion surrounded the innovation of this project and the judges were struck by how the lighting worked within the design. Tim expressed: “The quality and control of light is intriguing and innovative.” Elad also reflected: “Environmentally it’s very clever, it brings in very nicely the light into the building and into the different spaces.” 

There was an overall appreciation in the room on the clarity of this project. David echoed this feeling stating: “I like the clarity of the diagram, it’s a proper building. If you went there you would know where you are, you would know where you have to go. I also like the straightforwardness of the lighting and the gallery proposal on the top floor. I think there are very strong diagrammatic things about it.”

Inverting the standard model of “archiving the archive” in unseen back-of-the-house spaces, The Broad places the Foundation’s art collection - more than 2,000 works - in the vault. Rather than relegate the storage to secondary status, the vault plays a key role in shaping the public’s museum experience from entry to exit. 

This project has an outstanding design that connects to its surrounding area and strikes into the heart of its community, Elad quite simply expressed: “It’s meaningful for me as in terms of it being a civic building - it has a bit more space inside it for program, so it invites people in.  I think it’s at the heart of the city and it creates a really interesting relationship between the outside and the inside.” In summary Peter expressed it quite simply by stating: “They’re a class act aren’t they!”

WAN AWARDS would like to congratulate Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler for their incredible winning project and to thank this year’s jury panel for their sincere discussions on civic architecture. We would also like to thank all those who entered into the Civic Buildings Award 2016.

Christina Ingram

Awards Coordinator

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