Expressive Interface: Eli & Edythe Broad Art Museum

With the new Museum of Art on the campus of Michigan State University, Zaha Hadid has managed to create a structural accentuation of important urban development boundary and connection lines. The expressively folded stainless steel building envelope engages in a lively dialogue with the existing network of paths and axes. The museum opened on 10 November 2012.

Architects: Zaha Hadid Architects, London
Location: Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA
The Eli & Edythe Broad Art Museum is situated in an exposed location at the interface of the bustle of urban life in the Grand River Avenue in the north and the historic centre of Michigan State University in the south. The two areas are linked by a diverse system of paths and visual axes.
The sharp-edged structure is a result of a detailed analysis of the topographic and circulatory characteristics of the surrounding area. Existing paths and visual connections continue inside the museum, fulfilling a new function and firmly embedding the building into the landscape. The resulting spatial sequence defines an 'inner landscape', which generates a qualitative diversity and enough curatorial space for versatility in the design of exhibitions.
The outer skin made of expressively folded stainless steel elements, formulates a striking contrast to the neighbouring neo-Gothic traditional red brick university buildings. The varied directional folds and pleats of this weather protection layer, reflect the circulatory changes in direction and orientation of the surrounding landscape. They give the building a constantly changing appearance arousing curiosity, yet never really revealing its content.
The exhibition areas are distributed over three floors and offer space for special exhibitions, modern and contemporary art, new media and photography. Large installations can be displayed in rooms extending over two floors.
The Eli & Edythe Broad Art Museum, or the Broad MSU, is dedicated to contemporary art. Interests focus on an exploration of global cultural trends and their classification in an art historical context. The Broad MSU aims to be an experimental 'lab' in which the ideas, words and actions of artists initiate a lively exchange on issues of the modern world. A study collection with over 7,500 objects – ranging from Greek and Roman antiquity to modern art – permits a contextualized approach.
Project data Client: Michigan State University
Construction period: 2007 – 2012
Opening: 10 November 2012

Design: Zaha Hadid with Patrik Schumacher
Local architect: Integrated Design Solutions, Michigan, USA
Structural engineering: Adams Kara Taylor, London, UK und SDI, Michigan, USA
Façade: Josef Gartner, Chicago, USA
Stainless steel building envelope: A. Zahner Company, Kansas City, USA

Site area: 65,000 m²
Footprint area: 19,000 m²
Floor space: 4,270 m²
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