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UCLA students get Richard Meier building thanks to $23m from Eli Broad

Philanthropist pays for nearly half the cost of new building

New York. The visual arts and architecture departments at the University of California at Los Angeles have a new home, thanks in part to the billionaire collector and philanthropist Eli Broad and his wife, Edythe. The couple have given $23m towards the $50m project, designed by the architect Richard Meier, to refurbish and expand an eight-storey arts building damaged in a 1994 earthquake. Mr Meier has created sunlit studios, classrooms and galleries, and attached external balconies to serve as open-air corridors for moving about the building. Outside, a Richard Serra Torqued Ellipse occupies a plaza near the university’s sculpture garden. “I wanted to see this number one art school in America have the number one art centre in America, which it richly deserves,” said Mr Broad, a member of the university’s visiting committee advisory group. The arts centre opens on 14 September with a display of work by UCLA faculty members including John Baldessari, Chris Burden, Nancy Rubins, Catherine Opie and Charles Ray, among others. Mr Broad’s largest gift to date is $50m for the construction of the Broad Contemporary Art Museum at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which is currently underway.