Arup Celebrates the Grand Opening of The Broad Museum

Global engineering firm designed specialty daylighting, sprinkler and environmental control systems to protect the artwork in the Broad collection

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 21, 2015 — (PRNewswire) —  Arup, a multidisciplinary engineering and consulting firm with a reputation for delivering innovative and sustainable designs, celebrates today the opening of The Broad, a new contemporary art museum in downtown Los Angeles. Arup worked closely with a large design and construction team to deliver The Broad, providing mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) engineering, commissioning, acoustic consulting, fire-life safety consulting, early phase audio visual and IT/communications consulting, and gallery lighting design.

Interior Main Gallery, Third FloorThe Broad MuseumCopyright Arup

The Broad is a new 120,000 SF, three-level contemporary art museum built by philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad on Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles, adjacent to the famed Walt Disney Concert Hall. Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R) in collaboration with Gensler, the museum is home to the nearly 2,000 works of art in the Broad collection, which is among the most prominent holdings of postwar and contemporary art worldwide. It is also the headquarters for The Broad Art Foundation's worldwide lending library. The museum is built on top of a 155,000 SF, three-level parking garage with an adjacent 24,000 SF public plaza.

One of the highlights of the museum is a third-floor gallery day-lit by numerous north-facing skylights and a fully-shaded glazed east wall. The shape of the skylight construction is configured to allow filtered daylight while preventing any direct sunlight. Throughout the building, the need to support, display and protect art guided Arup's design of specialized systems, such as air handling systems with tight humidity control and multiple filtration levels; a dehumidified cold room for photography storage; track lighting and underfloor supply in the gallery areas to allow flexibility in the placement of temporary exhibition walls; backup emergency power systems to allow continuous security operations and air conditioning for art preservation; and a welded pre-primed pre-action sprinkler system designed to limit risk of corrosion-caused leakage.

"Arup has been an amazing partner in the building of The Broad. They understand the sensitivities of building a space for a collection of contemporary art and helped develop efficient and innovative solutions for the physical and aesthetic needs of the institution," said Joanne Heyler, founding director of The Broad.

Building Information Modeling (BIM) of the building services in the roof and undulating lobby ceilings led to the discreet integration of sprinklers, daylight sensors, shading devices, conduits and electric lighting tracks into the architectural aesthetic. Despite the stringent requirements imposed by the building type, Arup developed energy savings strategies that included the extensive use of the architectural "veil" as an external shading device, daylight harvesting, occupancy-based control of lighting, variable frequency drives on large HVAC motors, demand control ventilation, carbon monoxide control of garage fans and the use of low-energy ultrasonic humidifiers. The building's energy use is projected to be lower than the current California Energy Code requirements by at least 18%, assisting in the achievement of a LEED Silver rating.

"Visitor experience, safety and environmental control demand equal attention in a museum," said Erin McConahey, principal at Arup. "We carefully consider each element of a design as part of a cohesive whole to ensure a building's all-round performance. This helps us understand daylighting in art galleries as a dramatic design element and a factor in conservation, as well as in energy efficiency."

Arup is widely recognized as one of the preeminent museum engineering design firms with projects including the Los Angeles County Art Museum (LACMA) Broad Contemporary Art Museum and Resnick Pavilion, California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, Denver Art Museum Frederic C Hamilton Building, Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, High Museum of Art Robert Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta, The Menil Collection in Houston, Tate Modern in London, and Centre Pompidou in Paris and Metz, among many others. Currently Arup is providing integrated multidisciplinary engineering design for the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, and the new Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center at the California Science Center, which will be the permanent home for the Space Shuttle Endeavour.

 Project team members on The Broad museum include:

  • Diller Scofidio + Renfro (Design Architect)
  • Gensler (Executive Architect)
  • Parkitects (Architect – parking garage)
  • Adamson Associates (Architect – plaza)
  • Matt Construction (General Contractor)
  • Nabih Youssef Associates (Structural Engineer – museum and garage)
  • Saiful Bouquet (Structural Engineer – plaza)
  • KPFF (Civil Engineer)
  • PlanNet (Audiovisual and IT)
  • Tillotson Lighting Associates (Architectural Lighting)

About Arup
Arup is the creative force at the heart of many of the world's most prominent projects in the built environment and across industry. Its engineers and consultants deliver innovative projects across the world. Arup opened its first US office 25 years ago, and now employs 1,000 in the Americas. The firm was founded in 1946 with an enduring set of values that fosters a distinctive culture, intellectual independence and collaborative approach. The people at Arup are driven to find a better way to deliver better solutions for their clients. (


Arup, a multidisciplinary engineering and consulting firm with a reputation for delivering innovative and sustainable designs.

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