Google Honors Broad Museum Architect Zaha Hadid

May 31, 2017

On Wednesday, the Google home page featured a tribute to Zaha Hadid, the late architect responsible for building the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University.  


Hadid was born in Baghdad, Iraq.

In an NPR Fresh Air interview with Terry Gross in 2004, Hadid said that her contemporaries had a fundamentally inaccurate understanding of the Arab world she grew up in.

"Many women went into university and higher degrees and worked in variety of professions," she said.

Hadid went to a Catholic school, despite being Muslim, and her parents always encouraged her academic ambitions, she told Gross.

According to the Broad Museum's website, after studying at the Architectural Association in London, she launched her own practice in 1979. Hadid quickly became famous for striking, dramatic and experimental designs — often dismissed as impractical or impossible to build.

The Eli and Edythe Broad Museum is one of those designs; it features outer walls of pleated stainless steel and glass, which are meant to symbolize the museum and the university’s dynamic vision. More than 70 percent of the 46,000-square-foot facility is dedicated to exhibition space. The museum was named for Eli and Edythe Broad, longtime supporters of Michigan State University, who provided the lead gift for the museum.

Hadid's angular design of the Broad Museum proved controversial, won the praise of admirers while also being scorned by others who feel it doesn’t fit in with the university’s surroundings.

In addition to her design work, Hadid taught architecture around the world. She was appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2012.

Hadid won the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2004; she was the first woman to do so.