Experiencing Great Architecture and Creative Built Environments

-MI-Lansing Area

Broad Art Museum (2012)

Zaha Hadid, Architect

Michigan State University Campus

East Lansing, MI

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Photographs taken March 28 and April 20, 2013

The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum is an interesting shiny jagged object designed by a bold strong personality. Hadid’s object seemed small during construction, and as the pleated stainless steel went up, it seemed too busy. I thought the starchitect created an attention grabbing sculpture, and it’s angular shape would create awkward spaces that the collection would be forced into.

Once I was able to experience the interior I was pleasantly surprised. It is a series of distinct galleries on three floors (including the basement) angled around a sculptural grand stairway. Some of the galleries are windowless and quite intimate, while others are grand with bold pleated windows and balconies overlooking them. The artwork feels as if it really belongs in the spaces, with some being installations actually created on the walls. There are some platforms which are extensions of the black metal archway casings and provide an elevated base for sculptural pieces. There is even a new media gallery with video installations in the lower level.

Surprisingly there is even room for a cafe, creating an area for receptions and gatherings with overflow space out into a courtyard. What seemed small from the outside, turned out to be much larger than expected.  It is much more than a sculptural object, it is truly a museum which displays the artwork beautifully – but I do still think the shiny jagged stainless steel siding is a little too busy…

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Michigan State Capitol (1879)

Elijah E. Myers, Architect

Capitol Square, Lansing MI

Aerial View and Directions

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Photos Taken July 5, 2012

I am proud to say that this is my State Capitol. I have not been inside since I was a child. I remembered that the rotunda floor was glass, which fascinated me at that young age. Well the glass floor is still there, and it is a simple surprisingly understated highlight. And of course, from the center of the rotunda floor, looking up you get an amazing view of the dome ceiling. I recommend taking the elevator up to the fourth floor where you get a closer view of the dome ceiling. Then work your way down floor by floor on the wide stairs and just explore. The Senate and House chambers are both interesting, beautifully restored, and each unique. You can get into the galleries of both houses off the third floor and get an overview of the chamber floor below. On the second floor you can get into the doorway of both the Senate and House chambers. While in the center corridor look up at the chandeliers. They are converted gas light fixtures,  and there are bronze deer and other native animals amongst the light globes. The original Supreme Court chamber was open, and I was able to walk through a corner of the space.The grand wood door to the Governor’s office was closed. Looking back on it I didn’t check to see if it was open…maybe I should have knocked?

I highly recommend a visit, even if just for a few minutes to walk into the rotunda. This is a special building,  our special building.

Click here for a video of the history and restoration of the Capitol.


Broad Art Museum (Under Construction)

Zaha Hadid, Architect

Michigan State University Campus

East Lansing, MI

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Photographs taken July 5, 2012

On a Roadtrip to West Michigan, I stopped in East Lansing to check up on the progress of the Broad Art Museum on the Michigan State University campus in East Lansing.

Still alot of work to do.

Enjoy the construction progress photos, and when it is open, I will update this post and provide my comments on the building and space within.