The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum is located at the northern edge of Michigan State University. Zaha Hadid won the competition to design the new museum which replaced the old Kresge Art Museum. The project was started when Michigan State University received a donation of $26 million (US) from Eli and his wife Edythe Broad in 2007. Eli Broad is a businessman and alumni of the university.
A design competition was put out for the museum, there were five semifinalists selected including Coop Himmelb(l)au, Morphosis Architects, Kohn Pedersen Fox, Randall Stout and the winner Zaha Hadid.
The buildings design was influenced by the paths and movement at the border of the site. Surrounded by street life on the Northern side and a historical centre of the campus on the south side, the museum plays a role in generating a network of paths and connections to either end. Adding an additional layer of connections are the perpendicular points which travel from the east-west which is the interface between the city and the campus.
The existing pathways evident on the site created a series of two dimensional lines of circulation. This led to the museums composition through the folding of these lines in to three dimensional places, creating an interior landscape that is negotiated by the different pathways in which people already move through the site.
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. By integrating the critical lines of connection already apparent in the landscape, the museum is truly embedded within the University Campus. Maintaining a strong relationship with the site and surroundings.
The overall form of the Broad Art Museum is sharply pleated steel which reflects the folded lines lifted from the site. The skin reiterating the different directions of the site through its pleats and the ever-changing nature of the appearance mimicking the campus' movement.