The First National Museum Dedicated to Architecture in Italy

MAXXI: The First National Museum Dedicated to Architecture in Italy.

For those who associate Italy with ancient art and architecture alone, the MAXXI, National Museum of 21st Century Arts, in Rome will come as quite a surprise. The building itself is a revolutionary design by architect Zaha Hadid and it the exhibits it houses are examples of contemporary art and architecture from the 20th and 21st centuries.

The MAXXI is not just an innovation in architecture by design but is also, incredibly, the first of Italy's national museums to be dedicated to archaeology.


The Museum

Maxxi in fact comprises of two museums: MAXXI Architettura and MAXXI Arte. MAXXI Architettura itself divides its exhibits chronologically, allowing visitors to explore the architectural traditions of the last century in Galleria 1 and those of this century in Galleria 2. MAXXI Architettura also house an extensive permanent exhibition of photographs documenting the changing state of Italy's landscapes.


MAXXI Arte's exhibits also span the 20th and 21st centuries. The collection includes Italian and international artists, but focuses on works that reflects connections with the Italian context.

Amazingly, the genius of the creative complexity of the astounding building that houses this museum, is that the works its displays are not lost amonst its passageways and intricate detailing. In fact the Hadid's design creates a space that entices the visitor to explore and investigate both the space of the building itself and the astonishing works that fill it.

When to visit the museum

The museum is closed every Monday and on some bank holidays. It is possible to visit it on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays from 11 a.m to 7 p.m and from 11 a.m to 10 p.m on Saturdays. The price of the ticket is around 11 euros, but there are some special discounts. If you want to more information you can visit the website:


If you love architecture and want to discover a different side of Italy's culture, you should definitely stop at the MAXXI and take in the amazing experience that this buidling and its exhibits have to offer.


Friday, July 20TH, 2012 by Guest

Architecture is a functional art. Architecture should solve practical problems rather than creating problems. Steen Eiler Rasmussen, in his book 'Experiencing Architecture' said, "The architect works with form and mass just as the sculptor does, and like the painter he works with color. But alone of the three, his is a functional art. It solves practical problems. ... Architecture is a very special functional art; it confines space we can dwell in, it creates the framework around our lives. In other words, the difference between sculpture and architecture is not that the former is concerned with more organic forms, the latter with more abstract. Even the most abstract piece of sculpture, limited to purely geometric shapes, does not become architecture. It lacks a decisive factor: utility." Unfortunately, starchitects like Zaha Hadid have little regard for the utility of the buildings they design. Zaha Hadid's complete disregard for the utility of the MAXXI museum, in her design, is explained in the MAXXI museum is facing the problem of possible closure, as per It's ironical that a building that cost €150 million and took over a decade to construct and opened just over two years ago, is under the risk of possible closure, due to lack of money. MAXXI museum, though visually pleasing to many, is completely off-the-mark when it comes to catering to the real needs of the museum. On the other hand, the George Pompidou Center in Paris, although not visually pleasing to many, is hell-bent on catering to the very needs of the building. Renzo Piano said, "No one can say the Center is beautiful. They could say it's lively or bright ...". No wonder, the Pompidou Center is the most visited building in Paris, far outdoing the tourist attractions like the Eiffel tower and the Louvre.