Michigan State U. Will Go Ahead With Zaha Hadid Art-Museum Design

MSU art museum

The new art museum at Michigan State U. will have a “pleated” exterior. (Zaha Hadid Architects images)

Michigan State University’s trustees voted Friday to go ahead with construction of a sleek new art museum designed by Zaha Hadid, the high-profile Iraqi-born architect whose firm, Zaha Hadid Architects, is based in London. The university is to break ground for the 46,000-square-foot project in March.

The three-story building will be notable for its unusual shape and for what the university describes as a “pleated metal and glass exterior.” In fact, it has already gained a certain notoriety—in March The State News, the university’s student newspaper, reported that contractors were afraid to bid on such a daring structure, and that some estimates put the project’s price tag at a whopping $160-million. For all that, one critic complained that the structure wouldn’t have enough gallery space.

According to Michigan State’s Web site, however, the cost is back down to between $40-million and $45-million, with $26-million of it coming from the philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad, after whom the museum will be named. And the site assures readers that the museum “will maximize the amount of dedicated art gallery space.”

The building, which is expected to earn LEED certification, will also have an education center, a museum shop, a cafe, and an outdoor sculpture garden.

MSU art museum

The museum’s east elevation will face a courtyard. More images are available on the museum’s Web site.

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