MAXXI (National Museum of the 21st Century Arts) is a National Museum of Modern Art and Architecture in Rome. Its design is created by architect Zaha Hadid, and she took care to create a multidisciplinary space for experimentation and innovation.
The Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage announced a two-stage competition for this design in 2000. It was a former military building (Caserma Montello), which is a very strategic location; Barracks were linked with the city center and other key facilities.
Zaha Hadid won the competition and left behind 273 other candidates from around the world. The museum is one of the most important works of the architect, proof of which is that he MAXXI photo was placed on her website’s home page for a long time. Construction was completed in 2010, but it lasted for about ten years. Hadid’s project presented on the competition included building 5 new structures, from which one one was actually constructed and it covers 30000 square meters.
MAXXI is going beyond the museum concept and presents a building which is available for everyone, there is no border between the inside and outside of the building. It is a unity of layers, undulating walls, the combination of different levels, which is ample and functionally easy to use.
The museum resembles mixed up pipes, where the walls intersect each other and then are separated to create indoor and outdoor spaces. The sides of the building, the walls are made of consolidated cement, horizontal structures – out of black painted steel material, and when they are used for roof trusses, they are covered with enhanced fiber cement. Rooms are lit with Natural light, which in turn can be filtered out in the roof. Upon entering, you appear in a very high atrium, where there is a reception and you can visit different parts of it. The floors are connected with black stairs.
MAXXI actually consists of two museums – art and architecture; In this museum complex there is also an auditorium, art and architecture, specialized library and media library, a bookshop, a cafeteria, a bar / restaurant and galleries for temporary exhibitions, educational activities and to present the content. At the front there is a yard to present large-scale works in a large field for social activities.
The museum’s importance can also be highlighted by the fact that it received a British Stirling Prize for it contribution to the development of architecture. There are many well-known contemporary artists’ works placed here such as: Kiki Smith, Alighiero Boetti, Luigi Ghirri, Kara Walker, Ed Ruscha, and many others.
Many people wondered if this modern building contradicted the city’s “static” image, but in this case, their fear was not truthful, undulating walls of the museum are in a wonderful synthesis with the Roman symmetrical, neo classical facade. MAXXI is the first National Museum of Modern Art and is always in the center of attention, be it public or the media, so it is even a kind of cultural center for Rome.
Author: Meri Khamkhadze
English Edit: Nutsa Namoradze