Broad Museum

About Broad Museum

Hotwire Direct Technology Shines in the Enchanting 'Veil and the Vault' Structure !

The newly constructed Broad Museum in Los Angeles, California, stands out as a striking architectural masterpiece against the backdrop of the California sky. Embracing an innovative design, the structure has been affectionately referred to as "the veil and the vault" due to its distinctive façade enveloping two key spaces: the public exhibition area and the archive/storage space crucial for the foundation's lending activities.

Hotwire Direct Enables Unprecedented Design Innovation in the Creation of Broad Museum's Stunning GFRC Exoskeleton!

To achieve this unique aesthetic, the vault is sheathed within an open, lattice-like exoskeleton comprising 2500 glass-fiber-reinforced concrete (GFRC) panels and 650 tons of steel supports stretching across the expansive gallery. This design not only allows for filtered natural daylight to flow through but also posed intricate challenges during the GFRC application process. "The success of applying GFRC to the specially shaped panels heavily relied on the meticulous formwork creation," explains David Pakshong from Gensler, the project's executive architect. Selecting a product capable of accommodating the numerous distinct curved shapes required for the exterior presented a significant hurdle for the design team. They sought a versatile solution that could adapt to the unconventional design, allowing for the creation of countless conical light openings and a front oculus replicated from a parabolic curve.

To address these complexities, the designers meticulously crafted three-dimensional (3-D) computer models containing geometric information for each panel. These models were then directly imported into tool path software, providing instructions for a five-axis, computerized-numerical control machine to sculpt molds from high-density foam. Before applying fiberglass, the foam molds were sanded, sealed, and utilized as negative formwork for the GFRC panels. "The flexibility of this rapid prototyping process played a crucial role in promptly resolving various intricate geometric conditions," adds Pakshong.