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Hadid to Design MSUís Broad Art Museum

January 15, 2008

By John Gallagher

Michigan State University (MSU) has picked Zaha Hadid Architects to design its new $26-million Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, in East Lansing, Michigan, school officials announced today. Hadid’s selection emerged from a competition that began last June and had narrowed to five firms, including Morphosis, Kohn Pedersen Fox, Coop Himmelb(l)au, and Randall Stout Architects. Joseph Giovannini chaired the selection committee.

Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum
Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum
Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum
Images courtesy Zaha Hadid Architects
Michigan State University has selected Zaha Hadid's design for its new Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum (top). Her design calls for a sharply angular, low-slung horizontal three-story building with a glass and aluminum skin (middle). Louvers on the building’s exterior will also enable museum officials to control interior daylight levels (above).
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Hadid’s design calls for a sharply angular, low-slung horizontal building with a glass and aluminum skin. The 41,000-square-foot structure will encompass three levels, including a basement, and be accompanied by an outdoor sculpture garden.

The London-based architect described her concept as a series of trapezoidal galleries with pleated or louvered exteriors that crisscross in multiple configurations to create a series of unexpected interior spaces. The louvered exterior will also enable museum officials to control daylight levels, one of several sustainable features aimed at obtaining a LEED rating for the project.

“To bring in natural light to a building is very important,” Hadid said during a press conference. “The horizontality of America, big skies, and light are amazing. I’ve always been struck by the light in North America and to bring in the light was very critical.”

Hadid added that she was delighted with the commission, which should be her second completed building in the United States following the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art, in Cincinnati, opened in 2003. “Art museums are centers for the exchange of ideas, showcasing the art that feeds the cultural life of the community. I believe we can create buildings that evoke original experiences, inspire people and make them excited about new ideas.”

University president Lou Anna K. Simon said that MSU considered several world-class architects but that Hadid’s design “truly captured the spirit of what this iconic building will represent to MSU’s campus.” Groundbreaking is expected later this year, with the museum to open in 2010.

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