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What the new Broad Collection means for downtown, L.A.'s other museums -- and what it will look like

August 23, 2010 |  8:48 pm

Broadsite3 The Broad Collection museum, to be designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, will be the first building in the long-stalled Grand Avenue project to get underway. In our complete story on Eli Broad's announcement Monday, the billionaire philanthropist says that the possibility that the museum could help get the project on track was one of his reasons for choosing downtown L.A. over Santa Monica and Beverly Hills. The Grand Avenue project has fallen victim to the current economic climate.

But does L.A. need another contemporary art museum? The Broad Collection will be a neighbor of MOCA, and will compete for visitors with that institution, the Hammer Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's contemporary works. Are there enough to go around?

Architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne got an exlusive look at the four designs that were finalists in Broad's competition. He says that Diller Scofidio + Renfro's "prevailed by focusing their design attention not on sculptural form but on a smart if showy conceptual clash between public and private visions of L.A. culture." Find out what that conceptual clash is in Hawthorne's critic's notebook.

-- Kelly Scott

Above: The site where the Broad Collection will be built, across 2nd Street from the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Credit: Anne Cusack/Los Angeles Times

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