Single Phase Open Call for the Design of a Multipurpose Building and Network of Landscaped and Public Spaces at the MAXXI National Museum of 21st Century Arts

Location: Rome

Year: 2022

Project Team: Warehouse of Architecture and Research (Gabriele Corbo, Jacopo Costanzo, Valeria Guerrisi, Eugenia di Biase, Zoe Socratous, Cristina Tascioni) with Cristian Sammarco

Morris Adjmi Architects

Landscape Project:

Future Green Studio

BIM and rendering:

React Studio

A bustling HUB of art, technology and green. Fluid and multifunctional. A volume that is part of the landscape and is in dialogue with MAXXI, enhancing the characteristics of its existing architecture. The design proposal thus answers the question: how does one architecturally confront MAXXI and its contemporary, functional, and ecological demands? From the study of the context and urban fabric comes the idea of a large ecological tray with spatial sequences of urban greenery and services. A modern Roman viridiarium that enters a compact volume and inhabits it by becoming its cover. A work of architecture centered around free and flexible spaces. Spaces that appear introspective but instead have a strong relationship with their urban landscape. A building that respects the existing museum by seeking a relationship that is not strictly visual. The two volumes, existing and new, appear to come together through invisible forces. It is the museum that finds knowledge in its new warehouses and laboratories. Research, science, and technology are not just present in the space, but instead can always be accessed by people. Nature, in the new collective green spaces, becomes part of this cultural system as a tool for enhancement but also as a service to the community.

The landscape, the subject of the proposal on via Masaccio, enters the volume through a ramp: a green tongue that articulates on the inner boundary of the volume, from the public space, crossing the storage and workspaces and bringing the city inside the museum. From ground level, this green system ascends to the roof, where it transforms into an organic, green topography that urges the visitor to confront the surrounding context and the large “telescope” of MAXXI.

The ramp has a width of 2.4 meters and is articulated in two linear systems: one third of it houses the plant species while the remaining part is occupied by a pedestrian walkway, which may also be accessed by the disabled due to its subtle slope. The ramp allows one to view all building functions as they make their way up to the garden terrace; it is the design tool that shapes the architectural mass and the relationship between the opaque and transparent parts. Following the functions and the torsion of the volume, the ramp always has a glazed band in the façade that allows light to enter the rooms, when necessary, and to allow the growth of plant species. Nature thus draws and inhabits the entire perimeter. A green walkway that allows you to observe MAXXI from the terrace, as well as the warehouses, the laboratories, and the spaces that are usually “unexposed” to the public.