Along the main drag north of the Michigan State University campus in East Lansing lies the usual dowdy mix of Gothic-inspired classroom buildings and rundown frat houses. Then, a canted, glass-and-stainless-steel building, in the shape of a parallelogram, radicalizes the streetscape.

This is the Broad Art Museum, only the second permanent architectural project in the United States by the London-based architect Zaha Hadid. And it resides unexpectedly on the northern edge of the green and sprawling university campus.

Nearly 73,000 visitors have passed through the museum in the first six months since its November opening, a figure well above expectations. “It’s like a spaceship has landed,” said the museum director, Michael Rush, guiding a visitor around the three-level, 46,000-square-foot building. “We think visitors are coming for the architecture initially, but are excited to be exposed to what’s inside.”

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