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21st Century National Museum of Art (MAXXI)

Architecture, 2009

Description of the artwork «21st Century National Museum of Art (MAXXI)»

Museum MAXXI in Rome became the first national museum of modern art in Italy and the largest building of Zaha Hadid at that time. According to the project, this building was supposed to correspond to the content of the museum and represent the modern identity of Rome, but at the same time complement the classical architecture of the city.

In the original project of Zaha Hadid, the museum was a complex of five buildings, but only one was built from them. Therefore, the architect called this project "incomplete." However, the construction of even one of the structures invented by Hadid took 11 years and 150 million euros. When designing the museum, the architect took into account the style of the classical buildings surrounding it and combined it with its "signature" deconstructivist style. Spiral concrete building covers an area of 27 thousand square meters. Curved walls, black and white colors, hanging stairs, large glass openings and intersecting pipes, according to architectural critic Rowan Moore, resemble transport architecture.

With this design, Zaha Hadid sought to achieve "A new fluid spatiality with many perspective points and fragmented geometry, designed to embody the chaotic fluidity of modern life." In other words, the building of the museum was supposed to reflect the spirit of modern Rome and meet its changing needs. Therefore, Hadid designed the building as a kind of stream of interconnected spaces that could accommodate a variety of works of art and temporary exhibitions. The architect sought to move away from the “box” layout typical of museums. Because of this, some critics claimed that the Hadid building is more suitable for demonstrating sculptures and installations, but not for two-dimensional works (the same claims were put forward at the time by the Guggenheim Museum in New York, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright).

For Hadid, it was important to create “Not a container for objects, but rather a campus for art”, a structure that would reflect her understanding of the role of the museum in modern life and the purpose of the institution to preserve cultural objects.

Author: Evgenia Sidelnikova
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About the artwork

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Art form: Architecture

Style of art: Deconstructivism

Date of creation: 2009

Location: Italy, Rome

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