Zaha Hadid for Broad Art Museum

By Stephanie Rebick | Posted on October 24th, 2012

While many have declared the era of museum starchitecture over, it seems hardly a month goes by without yet another opening of a new museum building with an iconic and elaborate design. With an opening date in early November, the latest in North America is the Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University in East Lansing design by Zaha Hadid. With 18,000 square feet of gallery space, the new building will allow the Museum to display its historical collection in dialogue with contemporary art. Its unusual exterior geometry — which to me almost looks like a shark mid-bite — is a bit of a departure for Hadid who is best known for her curving, undulating surfaces. The pleated steel facade certainly makes for a dramatic aesthetic statement and it will be interesting to see how the angled steel and glass functions in the gallery spaces. I’ve found that in these grand museum building projects too much emphasis is placed on creating a distinctive architectural statement at the expense of the interior gallery spaces which often seem ill-suited to the display of art. I’m curious to see if Hadid was able to succeed where so many of her peers have so frustratingly failed. The Museum opens to the public on November 10th with exhibitions devoted to contemporary video art and the relationship between time and memory in art.


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