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MAXXI by Zaha Hadid: the energy of a starchitect for Rome


MAXXI by Zaha Hadid: the energy of a starchitect for Rome


Here we are at another stage of our walk through Rome’s contemporary architectures: MAXXI, by Zaha Hadid.

Zaha Hadid, Iranian architect who passed away at the end of March 2016, is no doubt one of the most important characters in recent architecture; she left her signature in Rome by giving the city an amazing building that houses the National Museum of XXI Century Arts.

The museum is the result of an international design competition announced in 1998 by the Monuments and Fine Arts Office, with the supervision of the Ministry of National Heritage and Culture.

A place for the new MAXXI to be erected had already been located in the Flaminio area, not far from the river Tiber. Moreover, some guidelines were established, requiring first of all the ability to fit in the surrounding urban context, in addition to the integration of itineraries, attention to a natural lighting, the observance of environmental policies and the preservation of a pre-existing building.

More than 250 candidates showed up, but only 15 were allowed to the second stage, until Zaha Hadid was finally declared the winner.

Zaha Hadid’s MAXXI offers an architectural solution with some typical hallmark of all her works: first of all, its dynamicity.


The MAXXI building is in fact marked by a strong sinuosity, by walkways, paths; it almost look porous for its capacity to connect the inside with the outside.

The communication with its context is guaranteed by a development that opts for horizontality, and the relation with the bearing pre-existing building is consistent, thanks to the scrolls that envelop it without devastating it.

Beside its architecture, mainly realized in not covered concrete, Zaha Hadid’s MAXXI is extraordinary for the open air spaces it gave to the city.

It is amazing to see how, during the museum opening hours, in the Roman sunny days, people from the neighborhood like to crowd the external spaces of the building, that become a park for children, a meeting area, a place for conversation and exchange of views.

To live this area is no doubt a form of education to the beauty of the architectural spaces the city has to offer!


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