Significant past RST posts on Hadid and MAXXI:
As #30 on RST's Top 40: http://romethesecondtime.blogspot.com/2010/01/rst-top-40-30-zaha-hadids-maxxi.html
Hadid as one of Rome's "Starchitects": http://romethesecondtime.blogspot.com/2010/11/romes-starchitects-meier-piano-hadid.html
One evening at MAXXI: http://romethesecondtime.blogspot.com/2012/03/evening-at-maxxi.html
A comparison of MAXXI to the City's contemporary art gallery, MACRO: http://romethesecondtime.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-building-wars-maxxi-vs-macro-romes.html
A walk-through of a major exhibit at the collection-deprived MAXXI: http://romethesecondtime.blogspot.com/2013/09/maxxi-francesco-vezzoli-performance.html
And the October 7, 2010 re-post:
We opened the Monday morning New York Times to discover that Zaha Hadid had won the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) Stirling Prize for MAXXI, Rome's new modern art gallery. The prize is given to the architect of the building that has "made the greatest contribution to British architecture in the past year." It made us wonder about the state of British architecture. Our doubts were confirmed when we checked a website that handicapped (like the horse races) the finalists in the competition, recently listing MAXXI as the odds-on favorite at 4:6, with another exciting and glamorous entry, Clapham Manor Primary School, at 8:1.
Regular readers of this blog will know that the massive MAXXI, the Titanic of Museums, is not our favorite building; we're already on record suggesting that it doesn't really fit into the Flaminio neighborhood (or any neighborhood, for that matter). And it may seem unfair that we should take another potshot at it. But the RIBA announcement offered new inspiration.
In awarding the RIBA prize, the judges described MAXXI as the "quintessence of Zaha's [what's with the first name stuff?] constant attempt to create a landscape as a series of cavernous spaces drawn with a free, roving line." Cavernous, yes, and the caverns are not all that badly connected inside, if that's what's meant by a "free, roving line." So maybe the award's for the interior. [We added the two interior photos below to the original post]
|MAXXI lobby, 2010|
And so we returned one evening to document the source of our irritation--and maybe have some fun. On this occasion, the museum's offer of free admission and music had brought young people out in droves and long lines--so many that we immediately gave up any thought of gaining access to the courtyard, let alone those roving caverns inside.
Instead, we scootered around back and took some photos (above and left) of MAXXI's intimidating, inaccessible, and ugly back side, dominated by windowless concrete massifs, colorful barriers, and fencing.
Watch for icebergs!
|The large space outside the gallery entrance works well with "big" art [photo added to original post]|