Broad Art Foundation

Eli Broad was a builder of our city and culture as well as of housing for many. We cherish our collaboration with Eli on the original Broad Art Foundation in Santa Monica in 1989. His vision and rigor continues to inspire us.

A new terrazzo lobby stair was developed to complement the original terrazzo floor and contrast with the spare concrete shell of the building. A custom external lift was installed to move large artworks to upper floors without a costly and space-consuming art elevator.

Some of the original windows of the building were restored and several skylights added to achieve primarily day-lit galleries. The historic facade was retained. The air conditioning system was largely replaced to avoid ducts in exhibit areas.
The building was subdivided to create a variety of gallery types from intimate alcoves to large-scale exhibit halls. While the tall ceilings of the concrete and steel frame building were well suited for display of large artworks, the dense column spacing necessitated the removal of one third of the columns and consequent beam reinforcement to achieve proper viewing distances.

The Broad Art Foundation’s purpose is to collect contemporary art for study and loan to other museums. The foundation acquired the 25,000 square-foot Santa Monica Bay Telephone Company building, built in 1927, as its new headquarters.