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Nuragic and Contemporary Art Museum

  • Cagliari, Italy
  • 2006 – TBC
  • Regione Autonoma della Sardegna
  • Competition / Research
  • 15000m2

The new museum for Cagliari serves as a landmark for the city – welcoming visitors from the sea, sharing its public dimension with the urban complex through a network of public paths. These paths continue within the building’s interior, forming spaces for exhibition, communication and transit.

Our concept envisages the museum as a ‘node of cultural exchanges’ – as a structure which serves as a seaward landmark for the city of Cagliari and, through a network of public paths, interconnects and shares its public dimension with the urban centre it serves. Geometrically aligned with the sea, the ‘Nuragic’ also extends its arms towards the quarter of S. Elia.

This building equates to a ‘coralline concretion’ – empty inside, hard and porous on the surface, yet able to accommodate, through its continuous osmotic exchange with the exterior, a range of cultural activities and experiences. At times it assimilates to the ground, creating a new landscape, at others it acquires a strong mass, defining a new skyline.

The openness and dynamic nature of its silhouette is continued inside, where the circulation of visitors along different paths determine the geometry of its spaces. Deliberate erosion forms a vast cavity which reveals a succession of open spaces for use in many different ways. The building’s inner cavity is defined by two continuous skins, one within the other, with museum resources placed between the two.

Pathways containing communication, contemporary and Nuragic exhibitions constantly intercept and bisect other public areas, giving the building a great sense of fluidity and enormous flexibility.

Construction of the building is phased, echoing the self-regulating growth of living organisms and allowing the museum to define first its own inner spaces, before transforming its surrounding landscape and finally ‘growing’ towards the city of Cagliari.




Zaha Hadid with Patrik Schumacher

Project Architect

Paola Cattarin

Team Leader

Paolo Matteuzzi

Design Team

Federico Bistolfi, Michele Salvi, Serena Pietrantonj, Andrea Parenti, Alessandra Belia, Cristina Capanna

Competition Team

Paola Cattarin, Paolo Matteuzzi, Federico Bistolfi, Michele Salvi, Serena Pietrantonj, Vincenzo Barilari, Samuele Sordi


Adams Kara Taylor (London, UK)
Favero & Milan

M&E / Environmental (Feasibility)

Max Fordham and Partners
(London, UK)

Manens Intertechnica

Cost / QS

Building Consulting, (Napoli, IT)

Health & Safety

Luca Peralta (Cagliari, IT)


Rinaldi e Scandurra (Roma)

Environmental prefeasibility

Silvia Serreli (Cagliari)