The MAXXI museum or as they call it in Italy, the “Museo Nazionale Delle Arti del XXI Secolo”, is one of the most renowned museums appreciating contemporary and modern architecture. The museum was designed by Zaha Hadid and was established in 2010.
As they call it, the architecture of the 21st century, The museum carries the enhanced essence of Zaha Hadid’s style of form and structure. This building was one of the buildings that Zaha Hadid designed for a design competition and only this one was made.
Zaha Hadid is one of the most prestigious architects of all time who also won the Stirling Prize in 2010 and 2011. In 2015, she became the first woman to be awarded the Royal Gold Medal from the Royal Institute of British Architecture. Her designs represent the fluent and wavy flow of the buildings and this museum also highlights the same.
The concept of the Museum is a notion that believes in no boundaries and amalgamation of ideas, functions, and forms. The museum was inspired to be built as an open and flowy space, hence, canceling out the isolations and closed spaces. These continuous and open spaces function as interactive spaces that not only summons people to visit the museum but also create an interesting element in the museum.
Continuity in spaces not only enhances the grandeur of a space, but also makes the area pretty functional for moving around for temporary exhibition for a project like a museum, without any walls or confines.
The design concept of Zaha Hadid was to move away from the concept of typical museums and hence, an attempt was made to continuously intersect spaces and create interior and outdoor spaces simultaneously.
One of the main concepts of this structure is the structural uncovering for modernism. There is no compact volume, there is just continuous space leading to an unending vision. This building sure sets a great example for the modern and contemporary style of construction.
The five gallery suites have a ceiling height of 6m and on the 2nd and 3rd floors, the daylight enters steadily through the glass roof which is supported on steel trusses. The trusses beside includes a mechanism to expose pictures or sculptures that can’t be floor mounted. ( Source: phdessay.com)
Planning of the museum indicates fluidity, and the circulation is dependent on the path functionality of the building or how a particular space should be seen and displayed.
The building in itself appreciates the classic heritage and brings together the elements of neoclassicism and modernism by moulding curvy and smooth walls and structures.
Particular attention has been given to the natural lighting of the building by thin concrete beams on the ceiling together with glass covering and filtering systems. The same beams have a bottom rail from which art pieces are going to be suspended.
The beams, the staircases, and the linear lighting system guide the visitors through the interior walkway, which ends in the large space on the third level. From here, a large window offers a view back to the city, though obstructed by a massive core.
The Maxxi consists of two museums. One is the ‘Maxxi Art’ and the other is. ‘Maxxi’ Architecture. Apart from the two, the Maxxi also culminates in the presence of a library, media library in art and architecture, along with cafeteria restaurant bars, galleries, etc.
Features of MAXXI
The museum cherishes grandeur, elegance, and continuity and doesn’t believe in boundaries. Zaha Hadid’s vision was to not isolate or condense spaces but to give a unit and make spaces, according to form follows function. The museum represents a storyline, carrying visions and ideas following the footprint.
The interweaving volumes established from the curved concrete forms and the input of natural daylight adds up to the aesthetic and the functionality of the museum. The roofing system complies with the highest standard required for museums and is composed of integrated frames and louvers with devices for filtering sunlight, artificial light and environmental control. (Source: Slideshare)
The lighting was made efficient by thin concrete beams on the ceiling together with glass covering and filtering systems. The same beams have a bottom rail which would be suspended, displaying art pieces. The beams, staircase and the interior lighting system guide the interior walkway, which ends in a large space on the third floor. From here, a large window offers a view back to the city, though obstructed by a massive core.
The construction is done on the basis of strip footing. The construction of the museum was definitely a tricky one because of the material and the method of construction. The construction was typically modern style and the walls of MAXXI were cast on site.
The structure was not erected on columns; instead, load-bearing walls were used along with steel structures.
Coming to the circulation of the building, Zaha Hadid made sure that the user interacted well with the built, and therefore ramps were made in open spaces, hence, compelling the user to walk through spaces.
Being a prominent structure of the 21st century, the modern and contemporary style of architecture has been emphasized and Zaha Hadid has obviously given her signature curves to the building, which not only makes it aesthetic but also functional.
The museum enhances the display of a narrative of ideas and concepts along the corridor and the functionality of the museum influences the form of the building.
Some critics did mention that the areas provided for the display were not accurate, but the grandeur of the museum comes from there and the area is enough to display large frames and artwork. The construction of the museum is quite typical but carried out efficiently. The continuity and the form of the museum sure look aesthetic but also enhances the function of the museum.