MAXXI, the National Museum of 21st Century Arts, is the first Italian national institution devoted to contemporary creativity.
Located in the former Montello army barracks in the Flaminio district, the museum was designed by Zaha Hadid. A complex developing horizontally conceived as a “delta of various rivers”: eight longitudinal spaces, intertwined and bowing onto each other. Although the clear and organized in plan, flexibility of use was the main goal of the project. Open spaces with concrete curved walls, suspended black staircases, open ceiling catching natural light – a suitable place for any kind of moving and temporary exhibition, without redundant wall divisions or interruptions. A new fluid kind of spatiality designed to embody the chaotic modern life.
‘An interesting thing about the museum in Rome is that it is no longer an object, but rather a field, which implies that many programs could be attached to the museum. It’s no longer a museum, but a center. Here we are weaving a dense texture of interior and exterior spaces. It’s an intriguing mixture of permanent, temporary and commercial galleries, irrigating a large urban field with linear display surfaces. It could be a library; there are so many buildings that are not standing next to, but are intertwined and superimposed over one another. This means that, through the organizational diagram, you could weave other programs into the whole idea of gallery spaces. You can make connections between architecture and art – the bridges can connect them and make them into one exhibition. That gives you the interesting possibility of having an exhibition across the field. You can walk through a whole segment of a city to view spaces. In Rome, the organization will allow you to have exhibitions across the field, but they can also be very compressed, so you have a great variety.’
– Zaha Hadid
Black and white photos from the current exhibitions by Carlo Scarpa, Alvaro Siza, Letizia Battaglia and more by Nook Twelve.