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Architectural Photography: Zaha Hadid Architects’ Eli and Edythe Broad Museum

Architectural Photography: Zaha Hadid Architects’ Eli and Edythe Broad Museum

We’re not gonna lie: neither of us had listed Sarnia in their “must-see-before-you-die” places (in all fairness, it turned out to be quite nice!). Yet, we found ourselves really excited to head there earlier this fall. Not only were we commissioned to photograph a gorgeous gallery by Kongats Architects (more on that in a later post), but Sarnia happens to be only 2 hours away from East Lansing, MI. Yup, you read correctly, do not adjust your monitors….East Lansing. Again, East Lansing is probably not on many people’s must-see list; but we just happen to love the work of Pritzker Award-winner Zaha Hadid and the town just happens to host the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, nestled amongst the surrounding  brickwork of Michigan State University’s campus. The chance to photograph this museum, with its pleated facade of stainless steel and glass, was not to be missed.

From the Architects:

“The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, located at the northern edge of the Michigan State University campus, is influenced by a set of movement paths that traverse and border the site. The vitality of street life on the northern side of Grand River Avenue and the historic heart of the university campus at the south side generate a network of paths and visual connections; some are part of the existing footpath layout, others create shortcuts between the city and the campus side of Grand River Avenue. The circulation travelling in an east-west-direction on Grand River Avenue, along the main road of East Lansing and also on the main approach street to the campus produce an additional layer of connections that are applied to this highly frequented interface between city and campus. Generating two dimensional planes from these lines of circulation and visual connections, the formal composition of the museum is achieved by folding these planes in three-dimensional space to define an interior landscape which brings together and negotiates the different pathways on which people move through and around 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.

The Broad Art Museum presents as a sharp, directed body, comprising directional pleats which reflect the topographic and circulatory characteristics of its surrounding landscape. Its outer skin echoes these different directions and orientations – giving the building an ever-changing appearance that arouses curiosity yet never quite reveals its content. This open character underlines the museum’s function as a cultural hub for the community.”

Many more images can be seen in the featured gallery here.

Stormy light glistens on the metal surface of the broad museum facade (Zaha Hadid Architects)

139-Zaha Hadid Broad Museum Lansing Doublespace Toronto Architectural Photography-dip

Bird's eye view of the feature staircase at Zaha Hadid Broad Museum, East Lansing Michigan

225-Zaha Hadid Broad Museum Lansing Doublespace Toronto Architectural Photography

Detail of Zaha Hadid Broad Museum at dusk, East Lansing Michigan

118-Zaha Hadid Broad Museum Lansing Doublespace Toronto Architectural Photography



Amanda Large and Younes Bounhar

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