My new article for Coolhunting.com
Designed by Pritzker Prize-winner Zaha Hadid, the new MAXXI (National Museum of the Arts of the 21st Century) is the newest astonishing piece of architecture in Rome. With a planned opening in spring 2010, it will house collections of contemporary art and architecture.
To celebrate the conclusion of construction, the museum opened its doors to the general public for the past two weekends, offering the unique chance to admire its pure structure before the art arrives.
The complex covers more than 27,000 square meters in the Flaminio neighborhood and its “permeable” piazza works as a connection between two areas of the city, which were separated by former military buildings (partly recovered and literally incorporated into the new museum).
Movable walls allow the very wide and seemingly endless galleries to adjust to different configurations. Intersected by the black lines of the stairs, which crisscross across the main hall like a roller coaster rail, the absolute white of the floors and walls looks all the more stunning. The stairs also work as lighting devices, thanks to light boxes mounted underneath.
An incredibly complex system, Hadid conceived the roof to give a sense of motion and the perfect light. The technology integrates the regulation of the exterior glazing with artificial lighting systems. It also hides tracks for hanging panels and works of art.
This building stands as a quintessential example of Hadid’s work, exquisitely linking the many elements of the structure through sinuous lines while creating a harmony of curves and corners. The effect, a subtle misplacement, doesn’t interrupt the understanding of Hadid’s vision, with the harmony of corners and curves linking the different areas.