Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Grand River Madness!

I don't know the first dang thing about architecture, but I did have one solid hope for MSU's Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum to be built along Grand River Avenue in East Lansing: that it be shockingly different from anything else in mid-Michigan. And it looks like that's going to happen. Zaha Hadid's winning design reminds me of a silver Lamborghini. If you take the video "fly through" on the Web site, you'll see lots of airy space and naturally lit rooms (although I'd guess there will also be some artificial light for those cloudy days that hit Michigan every so often).

There's already some stick-in-the-mud commenting on the State Journal story that he could have designed something better that Hadid did. It's exactly this sort of hostile attitude I hope the museum and its contents combat when it's finally built. In fact, I hope it sparks a regionwide debate about art and design, modernism and tradition. I want people to be shocked by this: shocked at the initial design, shocked at the finished product, shocked into loving or hating it. The worst thing that could happen is for the museum to be met with indifference.

So who wants to fight me? I say the building is beautiful, strange, spacey, sneaky, and -- happy-happy-joy-joy! -- not conforming to its surroundings. Viva la strange!

Go Green! (And white, red, silver, purple, brown, gray, mauve, goldenrod, orange, black, opalescent, neon green, strawberry pink ...)


The City Desk said...

Ah, I remember the old days- class trips to the Kresge where, even as a kid, things smelling a bit musty didn't seem like it'd be good for the art. I'm glad that stuff's getting a new home.

Solari said...

It's no Paolucci Building, that's for sure.