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MAXXI: Museum of XXI Century Arts

  • Rome, Italy
  • 1998 – 2009
  • Italian Ministry of Culture, Rome, Italy, Fondazione MAXXI
  • Built
  • 30000m2

MAXXI supercedes the notion of the museum as ‘object’ or – presenting a field of buildings accessible to all, with no firm boundary between what is ‘within’ and what is ‘without’. Central to this new reality are confluent lines – walls intersecting and separating to create interior and exterior spaces.

MAXXI, the first Italian public museum devoted to contemporary creativity, arts and architecture provides not only an arena in which to exhibit art, but a research ‘hothouse’ – a space where contemporary languages of design, fashion, cinema, art and architecture can meet in new dialogue. Three words encapsulate the MAXXI vision – innovation, multiculturalism, interdisciplinary.

MAXXI supercedes the notion of museum as ‘object’ or fixed entity, presenting instead ‘a field of buildings’ accessible to all, with no firm boundary between what is ‘within’ and what ‘without’. Central to this new reality – its primary force – is a confluence of lines – walls that constantly intersect and separate to create indoor and outdoor spaces.

MAXXI integrates itself with its surrounds, re-interpretation urban grids to generate its own geometric complexity. Through the flow of its walls it defines major streams – the galleries – and minor streams – interconnections and bridges, delighting in a peculiar L-shape footprint which in this context becomes ‘liberation’ – a freedom to bundle, twist and turn through existing buildings. In this very meandering MAXXI both draws on and feeds the cultural vitality of its mother city.

MAXXI Art and MAXXI Architecture – two museums with this one space – flank a large high-reaching lobby, from which access to all galleries, auditoria, cafeteria, shops and services are provided. Movement from this point beyond MAXXI’s containing walls are via a pedestrian walkway which shadows the building’s contours, re-establishing an urban link obscured for over a century.

MAXXI expresses itself through glass, steel and cement – delighting in neutrality, achieving great curatorial flexibility and variety. To wander through, to experience this place – these spaces – is to encounter constantly changing vistas and surprises.


Zaha Hadid Architects


Zaha Hadid with Patrik Schumacher

Project Architect

Gianluca Racana

Site Supervision Team

Anja Simons, Paolo Matteuzzi, Mario Mattia

Design Team

Anja Simons, Paolo Matteuzzi, Fabio Ceci, Mario Mattia, Maurizio Meossi, Paolo Zilli, Luca Peralta, Maria Velceva, Matteo Grimaldi, Ana M.Cajiao, Barbara Pfenningstorff, Dillon Lin, Kenneth Bostock, Raza Zahid, Lars Teichmann, Adriano De Gioannis, Amin Taha, Caroline Voet, Gianluca Ruggeri, Luca Segarelli

Competition Team

Ali Mangera, Oliver Domeisen, Christos Passas, Sonia Villaseca, Jee-Eun Lee, James Lim, Julia Hansel, Sara Klomps, Shumon Basar, Bergendy Cooke, Jorge Ortega, Stephane Hof, Marcus Dochantschi, Woody Yao, Graham Modlen, Jim Heverin, Barbara Kuit, Ana Sotrel, Hemendra Kothari, Zahira El Nazel, Florian Migsch, Kathy Wright, Jin Wananabe, Helmut Kinzer, Thomas Knuvener, Sara Kamalvand


ABT (Rome, Italy)

Structural Engineer

Anthony Hunt Associates (London, UK), Ok Design Group (Rome, Italy), Studio S.P.C. S.R.L. (Rome, Italy)

M & E

Max Fordham and Partners (London, UK), Ok Design Group


Equation Lighting (London, UK)


Paul Gilleron Acoustic (London, UK)