The Broad Contemporary Art Museum is the new centrepiece of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the first of a multi-phase museum expansion. Designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop, the facility includes some of the largest column-free gallery spaces in the U.S.
Arup provided structural and building services engineering, lighting design, acoustics and IT consulting for the project.
The top floor galleries feature a glass ceiling with external shading and adjustable motorised roller shades. The glazed ceiling, serving as both skylight and weather barrier, is topped by north-facing aluminium sunshades that slope at 45 degrees, blocking direct sunlight. The blinds can reduce daylight levels on demand and are programmed to close as needed when early morning or late afternoon direct sunlight enter through the roofing system.
To create more uniform daylight conditions, Arup’s lighting designers undertook an illumination vector analysis of both direct and reflected light within the space. With this analysis, Arup refined the geometry of the sunshade panels to balance daylight on north and south facing walls.
Buckling-restrained braces, which expand under tension and do not buckle under compression, mitigate potential seismic forces and make the glass roof and shading system feasible.