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Zaha denies Michigan museum reports

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Zaha Hadid Architects has denied reports that its Michigan State University musuem has stalled over spiralling costs.

When launched in January 2008, the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum had an estimated cost of $40 million (£27 million), but at the beginning of April, university president Lou Ann Simon said costs had ballooned to $160 million.

A spokesperson for Zaha Hadid issued a statement to the AJ refuting any budgetary problems: ‘Zaha Hadid Architects are working closely with our client, Michigan State University, throughout the design process to ensure the overall project costs of the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum remain near the target budget of $40 million. Earlier this month, Linda Stanford, the university’s associate provost for academic services, said the project will be completed at or around the $40 million mark, and this was confirmed last week when Zaha Hadid Architects and Michigan State University signed the contract at this amount. Construction is planned to start later this year.’

According to the university paper, State News, the rising costs are a result of examining the feasibility of Hadid’s design, covering 1,700m² on the campus site, which was won through an international competition and saw off Coop Himmelb(l)au, Morphosis, KPF and Randall Stout Architects.

The paper added that the university is still struggling to find a contractor willing to take on the ‘complicated’, high-cost design. Hadid is, reportedly, looking at altering her design to bring costs down.

The project was originally due to break ground this spring. Construction was expected to take 18 months.  

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