With its skin of glass and stainless steel pleats, the museum, which opened earlier this month, draws a sharp contrast to the Gothic architecture that makes up most of the campus in East Lansing. Measuring 4,275 square metres, and rising three storeys, the corrugated structure sits front and centre at the school’s entrance, enticing passersby to explore it. After the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati, completed in 2003, this is Hadid’s second American building.
The $40 million project was spearheaded by MSU alumni and billionaire philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad, who asked architect Joseph Giovannini to facilitate a competition in 2007. Over four decades, the Broads have amassed a vast collection of prominent post-war and contemporary art from across the globe to create The Broad Art Foundation. In addition to gifts and loans from their personal collection, the Broads contributed $28 million to the project, while the balance was met through fundraising.
Hadid, no stranger to brazen forms that stand out in their surroundings (see her spiky Riverside Museum of Transport in Glasgow and her bow-shaped addition to Antwerp’s Port House), didn’t shy away from creating gravity-defying and angular forms for this project – both inside and out. As in the National Museum of the XXI Century Arts in Rome, she put careful emphasis on the geometries of interconnected spaces. Staircases snake through the museum and jut out at penetrating angles, while entrances lean slightly askew. Also reminiscent of the monolithic museum in Rome, the Broad Art Museum features a palette of black, white, concrete and natural finished wood.
According to the Anderson Economic Group, the museum is expected to attract up to 150,000 annual visitors and grow the regional economy by $5.75 million a year.
The Broad Museum is located on 547 East Circle Dr. in East Lansing, Michigan.