Famed Architect Breaks Ground on $45-million MSU Museum

Famed Architect Breaks Ground on $45-million MSU Museum

Detroit Free Press/March 16, 2010

By John Gallagher


EAST LANSING – Iraqi-born Zaha Hadid, the world’s foremost woman architect, came to Michigan State University this morning to break ground on what promises to be one of the state’s boldest works of architecture.



That project is the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum on MSU’s campus, a $45-million home for contemporary art that will open in late 2011 or early 2012.


Sharply angular, with a glass, concrete, and pleated stainless steel skin, Hadid’s design was
chosen in early 2008 during a competition to craft a signature architectural destination as well as a great home for art.


The three-level, 46,000–square-foot building, to be located at the corner of Grand River Avenue and the Farm Lane campus entrance, will be adjoined by an expansive outdoor sculpture garden as an extension of the east entrance courtyard and by a large pedestrian plaza at the west entrance.


Eli Broad, an MSU alumnus, and his wife are donating $28 million of the total cost, with most
of the rest raised from private donors. Broad said he was delighted to return to MSU for the


“I’m an alumnus of MSU and this is a great university and it’s good to give back,” he said. Today’s groundbreaking came almost a year after MSU had initially hoped to begin
construction. Hadid’s winning design proved too expensive to build as initially planned, and it
took roughly a year of additional work on the complex structure to make the design workable.
MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon said the project “will be an extraordinary building by one
of the world’s hottest architects of the 21st century. It will be a building for all of us.”
Now based in London, England, Hadid has won numerous international awards for her designs, yet the Broad Museum at MSU will be only her second project to be built in the United States.Hadid said she hoped her museum design ”captures the imagination, presenting endless possibilities for exhibitions in state-of-the-art galleries and continuing Michigan State
University’s reputation for excellence and  innovation.”



gallagher@freepress.com or 313-222-5173.