Billionaire Eli Broad said he will build the Broad Collection, a public contemporary art museum and headquarters for his art foundation, in downtown Los Angeles near the Walt Disney Concert Hall.
The 120,000-square-foot museum will cost $80 million to $100 million, Eli and Edythe Broad said today in an e-mailed statement. He will also pay $7.7 million to lease the land, and they will endow the Broad Art Foundation with $200 million to cover its ongoing annual operating expenses.
The project, to be designed by New York-based architects Diller Scofidio & Renfro, received final approval today from the Grand Avenue Authority, made up of city and county officials who oversee the areas’ redevelopment, said Broad, 77. Construction is set to begin in early 2011 and be completed in late 2012.
The new museum will provide a home for some of Broad’s 2,000 pieces of art, which he’s been collecting for more than three decades. Broad made his first fortune as co-founder of Los Angeles-based KB Home, a home-building company he started in 1957 with Donald Kaufman who died in 1983 in a plane crash. Broad later pocketed $3.4 billion when he sold his 19 percent stake in insurer SunAmerica Inc.
The museum will rise across Grand Avenue from the Frank Gehry-designed Disney hall, near the Arata Isozaki-designed Museum of Contemporary Art and a civic park under construction. Broad said he hopes the project will help jumpstart further development.
“This will be an iconic piece of architecture,” Broad said in the statement. In March, Forbes magazine estimated his wealth at $5.7 billion.
The Broad Collection will include about 50,000 square feet of galleries, a 200-seat lecture hall, a lobby with display space and a shop. The project will also provide archive, study and art-storage space for scholars and curators, Broad said.
The foundation considered spots in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and Santa Monica, where it’s currently located, Broad said. The project had received approval from the Los Angeles City Council, Board of Supervisors and redevelopment agency.
Architects Elizabeth Diller, Ricardo Scofidio and Charles Renfro have received wide attention in the past two years for their eye-catching design of the High Line, an elevated railroad and park in New York’s Chelsea district. They also designed the renovation of the Juilliard School and Alice Tully Hall at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. In 1999, founders Diller and Scofidio won a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation ”genius” award.
“What they bring to the table is vitality, animation and theatricality,” Rick Bell, executive director of the American Institute of Architects New York, said in a phone interview. “Los Angeles is a city where there is a lot of entertainment. What they bring is design that’s grounded in the street and how people use and enjoy public space.”