MAXXI Museum by Zaha Hadid | Architectural Review

The MAXXI Museum is one of the best projects of Zaha Hadid. Architectural team, Zaha Hadid Architects, designed the structure in Rome, Italy in 2009. Its construction lasted approximately 7 years. Then, it was opened to visit in 2010. The MAXXI means National Museum of 21st Century Arts. Famous with its unique design, Maxxi National Museum is the first modern national art museum in Rome.

MAXXI museum plan setup is quite flexible. It is possible to see the architectural language of Zaha Hadid in the plan setup of this building. So much so that, the setup of the interior spaces are quite fluid. The places that people use frequently and the routes intersect with each other. There are no divider elements in these transition spaces. This has enabled the user flow in the museum to turn into an unique experience with the help of architectural design.

Ground floor plan of Maxxi Museum
Ground Floor Plan of MAXXI Museum (Archdaily)

A Review of Maxxi Museum Architecture

This fluid language inside has also reflected in the mass of the museum. The MAXXI by Zaha Hadid, has an architectural body that directs people. Masses with different geometries integrated with each other and have entered into a flow. The inclined reinforced concrete surfaces stand out on the exterior of Rome National Museum of MAXXI.

Exterior of Maxxi Museum
MAXXI Museum – ©Andreas Hunziker, Flickr

The project spreads over an area of 27 thousands square meter. There are 2 museums, auditorium, library, media library, bookstore, cafe, commercial spaces, laboratories, indoor-outdoor areas, study and entertainment spaces inside.

Usage of the Natural Light

The use of natural light in the building is also very operative. Some spaces and courtyards benefit greatly from natural light. There are specially produced control systems to distribute the natural light homogeneously inside throughout a day. Illuminating interior with harmony of artificial light and daylight and controlling the light level inside were quite important for architects.

Maxxi interior space
Maxxi Roof Beams – ©Iwan Baan, Archdaily

There are reinforced concrete beams that were designed high and dense to let the light inside from the roof. These beams carry the glass surfaces in some parts of the roof. By this way, the natural light illuminates interior spaces thanks to these glass surfaces. Additionally, going beyond their functions, beams add an architectural wealth to spaces.

MAXXI Museum Stairs

There is a black hanging stair in the interior. It contrasts with the color of white-gray interior facades. The stair is one of the most striking architectural elements of the museum with its color, location and form. It is enriching the atmosphere of the entrance hall. The building material of this staircase is steel.

Black sculptural staircase
Entrance Staircase – ©Iwan Baan

Consequently, some buildings come to the fore with their architectural language more than the items they exhibit. The MAXXI Art Museum is one of the architectural works that passed into the history of architecture, like many of Zaha Hadid’s works. Thanks to the Maxxi’s structural system, the building combining concrete, light and glass has gone beyond being a museum with its sculptural appearance. Just like the Bilbao Guggenheim, the Maxxi Museum in Rome itself has turned into an exhibited work as well as the works it exhibits. Moreover, it has written its name in the history of architecture since the moment it was built.

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