Architectural Tour, July 23: Broad Art Museum, East Lansing, Michigan
On our two-day drive to retrieve our ballerina from North Carolina, Stacey and I stopped in East Lansing to see the art museum of Michigan State University. Dot had earlier in the summer alerted us to this new structure, and we were swinging right past East Lansing on our way southeast to Ohio and the Appalachians to Raleigh. And, of course, there’s the art to see.
The building was designed by Zaha Hadid Architects and was opened in 2012. It’s sculptural, and shiny, and small. On an otherwise bland campus, it stands out. The place needed a building like this.
Hadid was born in Baghdad, Iraq in 1950. She received a degree in mathematics from the American University of Beirut before moving to study architecture in London, where she met Rem Koolhaas, Elia Zenghelis, and Bernard Tschumi. She later worked for her former professors Koolhaas and Zenghelis. In 1980, she established her own London-based practice. She received the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2004—the first woman to do so (Wikipedia).
Accoring to Martin Søberg (arcspace.com),
Dame Zaha Hadid is the uncrowned queen of contemporary iconic architecture. Her buildings practically scream, “I’m a Hadid.” A bona fide autrice, Hadid is without a doubt the world’s most famous woman in a starchitect stratosphere strangely dominated by her masculine peers.
Another article in arcspace.com, offers this description, apparently from Hadid Associates:
The design of the Eli & Edythe Broad Art Museum, located at the northern edge of the Michigan State University campus, is influenced by a set of movement paths that traverse and border the site.
Generating two dimensional planes from these lines of circulation and visual connections, the formal composition of the museum is achieved by folding these planes in three-dimensional space to define an interior landscape which brings together and negotiates the different pathways on which people move through and around the site.
Detailed investigations and research into the landscape, topography and circulation of the site, enabled us to ascertain and understand these critical lines of connection. By using these lines to inform the design, the museum is truly embedded within its unique context of Michigan State University, maintaining the strongest relationship with its surroundings.
This dialogue of interconnecting geometries describes a series of spaces that offer a variety of adjacencies; allowing many different interpretations when designing exhibitions. Through this complexity, curators can interpret different leads and connections, different perspectives and relationships.
Well, maybe. Not sure that I follow all that. But here is the building: