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NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE XXI CENTURY ARTS (MAXXI MUSEUM), Rome, Italy

Photo by Helen Binet

The MAXXI National Museum of the 21st Century Arts is a national museum dedicated to contemporary creativity, located in the Flaminio neighbourhood of Rome, Italy, in the area of the former Montello military barracks. It is managed by a foundation created by the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities. The complex houses two institutions: MAXXI Arte (Director Anna Mattirolo) and MAXXI Architecture (Director Margherita Guccione), aiming to promote art and architecture through collection, conservation, study and exhibition of contemporary works. In addition to the two museums the MAXXI includes an auditorium, library and media library, bookshop and cafeteria, spaces for temporary exhibitions, outdoor spaces, live events and commercial activities, laboratories, and places for study and leisure. As of today, over 300 works are part of the MAXXI Art collection, including those of Boetti, Clemente, Kapoor, Kentridge, Merz, Penone, Pintaldi, Richter, Warhol and many others. MAXXI Architecture includes the files of the designs of Carlo Scarpa, Aldo Rossi, Pierluigi Nervi and others, as well as the projects of contemporary authors such

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as Toyo Ito, Italo Rota and Giancarlo De Carlo, and photography

collections of the projects Italian Atlas and Authors Site. Project facts: Dimensions Total site area: 29,000 m2 Exterior spaces: 19,640 m2 Interior spaces: 21,200 m2 Exhibition spaces: 10,000 m2 6,000 m2 MAXXI Arte: 4,077 m2 MAXXI Architecture: 1,935 m2 Maximum height: 22.90 m
Aerial view of Maxxi Museum Photo by Iwan Baan

Facilities (auditorium, library and media center, coffee shop, restaurant, admin.):

Cost: EUR 150 Million Visitors forecast: between 200,000 and 400,000 per year1 Architectural Analysis The Maxxi Museum materialized the concept of the confluence of lines, where the primary force of the site is the walls that constantly intersect and separate to create both indoor and outdoor spaces. Its no longer just a museum, but an urban cultural centre where a dense texture of interior and exterior spaces have been intertwined and superimposed over one another. Its a mixture of galleries, irrigating a large urban field with linear display surfaces.
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From Zaha Hadid Architects - MAXXI - National Museum of XXI Century Arts in Rome,, http://www.archinnovations.com, 2009

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The walls of the MAXXI create major streams and minor streams. The major streams are the galleries, and the minor streams are the connections and the bridges. This system acts on all three levels of the building, the second of which is the more complex - with a wealth of connections with various bridges that link buildings and galleries. The visitor is invited to enter into a series of continuous spaces, rather than the compact volume of an isolated building. Outside, a pedestrian walkway follows the

ENTRY PEDESTRIAN PATH VEHICULAR PATH

Maxxi Museum Site Plan, Source: http://www.architectsjournal.co.uk; modified by Zeus Salvo

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outline of the building, restoring an urban link that has been blocked for almost a century by the former military barracks. The two museums - MAXXI Art and MAXXI Architecture are located around a large full height space which gives access to the galleries dedicated to permanent collections and temporary exhibitions, the auditorium, reception services, cafeteria and bookshop.

VERTICAL CIRCULATION ENTRY POINTS

Source: http://www.archinnovations.com

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ALSO SERVES AS VIEWING DECK

GLAZING AND STRUCTURAL RIBS THAT FILTERS LIGHT

OPEN BELOW ALLOWING NATURAL LIGHT

INTERTWINED BRIDGES WHICH IS THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE INTERIOR

Source: http://www.archinnovations.com

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SUNLIGHT IS BEING FILTERED

WARM AIR EXITS THROUGH THE VOIDS

COOL AIR ENTERS

Cross section of Maxxi Museum main lobby, Source: http://www.architectsjournal.co.uk; modified by Zeus Salvo

Maxxi Museum interior, Photo by Iwan Baan

Two principle architectural elements characterize the project: the concrete walls that define the exhibition galleries and determine the interweaving of volumes; and the transparent roof that modulates natural light. The roofing system complies with the highest standards required for museums and is composed of integrated frames and louvers with devices for filtering sunlight, artificial light and environmental control.2 The sections of the building as compared to the floor plans are also irregular in configuration. The Main Lobby has a high ceiling with piles of beam supporting the glass roof on the top. Underneath the beams are bottom rails in which some displays are
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From Zaha Hadid Architects - MAXXI - National Museum of XXI Century Arts in Rome,, http://www.archinnovations.com, 2009

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hanged. Almost all of the spaces covered in the section area are provided with natural sunlight through the glass roof which makes every spaces energy efficient. Findings and Analysis The site has a unique L-shaped footprint that winds between two existing buildings. Rather than seeing this as a limitation, they used it as an advantage, taking it as an opportunity to explore the possibilities of linear structure by bundling, twisting, and building mass in some areas and reducing it in others - threading linearity throughout both interior and exterior. The fluid and twisting shapes and the moderated use of natural light lead to a spatial and functional framework of great complexity, offering constantly changing and unexpected views from within the building and outdoor spaces. Its external as well as its internal circulation follows the overall geometry of the structure. The drifting emerges, therefore, as both architectural motif, and also as a way to navigate experientially through the museum. Glass roofing is provided throughout the building which follows the contour of the plan, this provides every space in the building with enough lighting that minimizes the use of electricity thus making the structure energy efficient. Underneath the glass roof area are piles of slender beams that follow the shape of the glass, it serves as a guide for visitors / viewers of the area. Together with the beams, below them are bottom rails provided for suspended art exhibit. Recommendation/ Application to the Study One of the most prominent features of the museum, the circulation and navigation through the museum would be considered for the current study. The use of skylight and the strategies on how is it being utilized in the Maxxi museum would also be considered to enhance the environment of the project. As for aesthetic, the concept will might be used only as a basis and guide.
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