Contemporary Art

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Contemporary Art

Artist: Zaha HadidLocation: Rome, ItalyOpened: 2010Contemporary masterpiece surrounded by older buildingsSupport Structure Material: Reinforced ConcreteFacade Material: Concrete, Fair-Faced ConcreteRoof Material: Metal, Glass, Steel

Zaha Mohammad Hadid was born on October 31 1950 in Baghdad, Iraq. She (unfortunately) died on March 31 2016, at the age of 65 in Miami, Florida, US. She was an architect and studied at the American University of Beirut, and Architectural Association School of Architecture in London. She received the UK's most prestigious architectural award, the Stirling Prize, in 2010 and 2011. In 2012, she was made a Dame by Elizabeth II for services to architecture, and in 2015 she became the first woman to be awarded the Royal Gold Medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects. Some of her designs have been presented posthumously, including the statuette for the 2017 Brit Awards, and many of her buildings are still under construction, including the Al Wakrah Stadium in Doha, a venue for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

The main theme of its architecture is the sense of movement; Everything in the structure seems to be moving and flowing. The facade belongs to her earlier period,with smooth curving white walls and an austere black and white color scheme. The building is perched on groups of five very thin pylons, and one gallery with a glass face precariously overhangs the plaza in front of the museum, creating shade. It's form can be described as bending oblong tubes, overlapping, intersecting and piling over each other. The imagery is of flow and movement and it resembles a demented piece of transport architecture. Inside, black steel stairs and bridges, their undersides glowing with white light, fly across a void. They take you off to the galleries, which are themselves works of frozen motion. The design is intended to generate what Hadid called "confluence, interference and turbulence." This statement of the architect, as usual of hers, brought out the question if the concept of de-constructed fluidity matched with the identity of a “static” city as Rome, and with its classical heritage. This allows us to analyze the major similartities and differences between past and present artworks, and see if they can 'mix' together. There also tends to be an influence of neo-classical symmetrical facades. The design of this building is also influenced by irrigation of the site with exhibition walls. The walls run mostly parallel. The curves that mediate the change of urban direction are taken as opportunities to change the spacing between walls, or as opportunities to intersect walls, while maintaining the condition of parallel flow, as well as tangential branching and confluence.The natural lighting that this building gets can be of thanks to new innovations such as reinforced concrete, which was a recent innovation that allowed buildings to have more space.

This concrete sculpture, which is moderate in height, has become astonishingly well integrated in its context. The design concept’s key element becomes apparent inside in the gallery spaces. The walls and light are the elements that define any museum. And although there are structures inside this building, Hadid is able to not only support her building, but also find a way to create allow this building to seem weightless in a sense. Its concrete walls, which function as 30 m long free-span longitudinal beams, give definition to the design’s grid. An interior facing layer provides a neutral background for the artwork, and accommodates and conceals all of the technology necessary to operate the museum. The ceilings are kept free for the painstakingly articulated skylights replete with fins running the length of the space that can be used to suspend artwork or partition walls. Heavy loads will be positioned on the floor. Because the load-bearing structure is restricted to walls, the museum is free of columns. This idealized standard section serves as the basis for extruding the sinuous gallery areas. These tangents are crossed and overlapped – like bridges. The spatial sequences culminate at the highest point in a large gallery. It terminates in a window extending the entire width of the space and affording a view to the surroundings, including the outdoor spaces designed by Zaha Hadid.

About the Artist/Art

Basic Information

Zaha Hadid's Maxxi National Museum of XXI Century Arts

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