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Zaha Hadid’s design selected for Broad Art Museum

Thursday, January 17, 2008

World-renowned architect Zaha Hadid of London has been selected as the winner in the design competition for the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at MSU. The announcement was made the morning of Jan. 15 at MSU’s Management Education Center in Troy to a group of about 100. More than 300 people filled the Kellogg Center Auditorium later that afternoon to see the introduction of Hadid and view a presentation of the winning design.

“With today’s announcement of Zaha Hadid as the architect of record for the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University, we take one step closer to bringing this extraordinary project to life,” Simon said. “We were fortunate to have the work of many world-class architects submitted for the competition but Ms. Hadid’s design truly captured the spirit of what this iconic building will represent to MSU’s campus and the greater mid-Michigan community that will benefit from its presence in the area.”

The announcement is the culmination of a competition that began in June 2007 when the Broads gave a gift of $26 million to help fund the new museum, which will focus on modern and contemporary art. The other finalists were: Coop Himmelb(l)au (Vienna and Los Angeles); Morphosis (Santa Monica, Calif.); Kohn Pedersen Fox Architects, PC (New York); and Randall Stout Architects, Inc. (Los Angeles). Hadid, founding partner of Zaha Hadid Architects, was awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2004 and is internationally known for both her theoretical and academic work. In addition to the Pritzker Prize, her work has received numerous awards from the world’s most prestigious institutions, including the Mies van der Rohe Foundation of European Architecture; the American Institute of Architects; the Royal Institute of British Architects; the Royal Academy of Arts; the International Olympic Committee; the Austrian Commissions for Science and Art; Columbia University; and Yale University.

“I am absolutely delighted to be building the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University,” Hadid said. “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. The sculptural folds of the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum’s design and enigmatic qualities of its steel and glass surface follow a coherent formal logic, offering a sense of unlimited possibilities.”

Some of Hadid’s best-known completed projects include the Vitra Fire Station and the LFone Pavilion in Weil am Rhein, Germany; the Mind Zone at the Millennium Dome, London; a tram station and car park in Strasbourg, France; a ski-jump and Nordpark Cable Railway in Innsbruck, Austria; the Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art, Cincinnati, Ohio; the BMW Central Building in Leipzig, Germany; the Hotel Puerta America interior in Madrid, Spain; the Ordrupgaard Museum Extension in Copenhagen, Denmark; the Phaeno Science Center, Wolfsburg, Germany; and the Maggie’s Centre, Fife, Scotland.

When completed, the Broad Art Museum at MSU will be Hadid’s first building on a university campus and her second completed project in the United States.

“What has always been important to me is my involvement in education,” Hadid said. “I taught for a very long time and people always ask me why I keep on teaching. I’ll always be interested in the integration of ideas and art.”Hadid said civic and public works as well as education are important because they are paths that continually cross and intersect, which is really theme of the project design.

The 41,000 square-foot building will comprise three levels, including a basement. It will be constructed of steel and concrete with an aluminum and glass exterior and be adjoined by an expansive outdoor sculpture garden to the east. The museum will stand on the corner of Grand River Avenue and Farm Lane at the Collingwood campus entrance.

The museum will include more than 18,000 square feet of space for the following collections: special exhibitions; modern and contemporary art; new media; photography; works on paper; and the permanent collection – encyclopedic (pre-1945). Additional space will include an education center, museum shop, visitor café and gathering space and staff offices.

For months experts tested and studied the building for feasibility and technicality and finally confirmed the selection. The Hadid scheme accomplished all of the stated goals: being an iconic structure with a striking profile, having a good curatorial environment as well as having a mix of natural and artificial light.

“Most of all, it is a work of art,” said Joseph Giovannini, renowned architect and competition facilitator. “MSU got its first Picasso only as a Hadid.”

Eli Broad said the gift combines two passions of education and art.

"It is an opportunity to create a museum that would not only enhance the education of students but would be a cultural addition to East Lansing, Lansing and all of central Michigan,” Broad said. “We saw it as an opportunity to create a piece of architecture that would in some ways transform the MSU campus. This is truly an iconic structure. It connects the university’s glorious past and future.”

Simon said that arts and culture play a critical role now in preparing students for a global world, in nurturing the human spirit and enriching the quality of life and economic prosperity of Michigan.

“The new Broad Art Museum will make extraordinary art broadly accessible to millions of people for innovative programs and active outreach and engagement,” Simon said. The announcement coincides with MSU’s year-long celebration of the “Year of Arts and Culture,” an initiative designed to enhance and strengthen awareness and appreciation of the arts on campus.

Groundbreaking for the museum is planned for fall 2008 and completion of the project is expected in 2010.

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