Let’s check out The Museum of XXI Century Arts, a gorgeous display of contemporary architecture designed by Zaha Hadid! 

As a visiting architecture student in Italy, it was almost inevitable that I visit Zaha Hadid’s MAXXI: Museum of XXI Century Arts. For those of you who don’t know who Zaha Hadid is, she is one of, if not THE, most brilliant contemporary architect in the world. She was born in Baghdad, Iraq, but her practice is located in London. If you’ve never heard of her, look up her work it will blow you away! Unfortunately, today’s post isn’t about Zaha Hadid. But, in case you wondered who this amazing architect is, and what she looks like, well, now you know!

Contemporary Architecture Museum of XXI Century Arts MAXXI Zaha Hadid Architect

Via artnet news

The MAXXI is a museum of contemporary art and architecture. It is located in the Eternal City (Rome for those who have never heard that nickname before). I got to spend an entire afternoon visiting this spectacular building with my colleagues during our week-long stay.

Before we go any further, I should point out that I’m not really that into contemporary art. (If I understood it better, I think it might appeal to me more.) I prefer more traditional art like statues, paintings, and mosaics. Regardless of my opinion of contemporary art, if you happen to be a big fan of it, I highly suggest you research the MAXXI and try to go visit it someday. Even if you really aren’t interested in contemporary art and architecture, it’s still a wonderful experience to go and see this building and what it has to offer. So, add it to your travel bucket list and go see it if you can. Rome is awesome. But now, back to our regularly scheduled blog post.

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Upon reaching the MAXXI, you can’t help but be overwhelmed by its mass. The building itself is an absolute work of art. The exterior consists of cement, glass, and steel. Take a look at the pics below and you’ll see what I’m talking about!

Aerial View of the MAXXI and Its Surroundings

Contemporary Architecture Birdseye Aerial View of MAXXI Museum of XXI 21 Century Arts Zaha Hadid Architecture

Via Dexigner

I love the curvature of the building, and how in the aerial view, you can totally tell what building we are talking about. I also like how it’s nestled into the surrounding buildings. It uses every square foot of space that it can, and man does it do it beautifully. Even if you aren’t a huge fan of contemporary buildings, or buildings in general, you can totally appreciate how awesome it is!

Exterior Shot of the MAXXI

Exterior Front Entrance View of MAXXI Museum of XXI 21 Century Arts Zaha Hadid Architecture

Via Dexigner

Now you probably understand why I used the term overwhelmed. If you know anything about Italy, then you know that it hasn’t really had its contemporary movement yet, as most of the buildings are from the modernist era or earlier, and they’re just now starting to get into the contemporary scene. Milan is probably the closest you’ll get to contemporary, but it’s still not quite there, and that’s okay. But since the surrounding buildings are from a different architectural era, the MAXXI is a beacon of contemporary architecture. 

That’s why I just love how this building sits right in the middle of Rome. I’m sure many people were walking past it scratching their heads as it was being built. The outside is breathtaking, but the inside is even more amazing. Upon entering, all you see is sleek and clean interiors. Dominant white and black everywhere with accents of color. This really allows the art to take center stage in what is one of the world’s most famous contemporary buildings.

Contemporary Architecture Interior View of MAXXI Museum of XXI 21 Century Arts Winding Black Stairs Stairwell Stairway Zaha Hadid Architecture

Via Dexigner

I love this interior shot, because you can see the white and black theme I was discussing, which had got to be one of the coolest contemporary building design elements here. You can also see the spacious atrium, and how it’s designed very well for pedestrian traffic walking around in the museum. The super awesome black stairs lead to different sections of the MAXXI displaying different exhibits. Walking up and down those stairs was definitely my least favorite part just because it’s exposed metal and you can see through them. Yikes!

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Contemporary Archtecture MAXXI Museum of XXI 21 Century Arts Lobby for Hosting Dinner Cocktail Parties and Events Zaha Hadid Architecture
Contemporary Archtecture MAXXI Museum of XXI 21 Century Arts Dining Area for Hosting Dinner Cocktail Parties and Events Zaha Hadid Architecture

Images via MAXXI

One cool thing I learned about the MAXXI is that they actually host dinner parties, cocktail parties, and conferences there! How awesome is that? Their amazing event spaces can host parties of anywhere from 20 to 600 people easily, and can be used for a variety of reasons. Private dinner and cocktail parties, conferences and corporate meetings, and even film screenings are just a few of the many things they do in their event spaces. Anyone know someone hosting an event there? If so, help me get on their guest list! I can only imagine what wonderful food and drinks a place like this would serve!

Contemporary Architecture MAXXI Museum of XXI 21 Century Arts Glass Atrium Zaha Hadid Architecture

Via MAXXI

Another important thing I learned from my visit was to take my time going through the exhibits. Besides the art and architecture exhibits, taking in the complexity and the beauty of the building itself adds to the overall experience of the MAXXI. It’s definitely one of those places where you want to make sure you have lots of time to spend there. Feeling rushed while going through all the exhibits will just be stressful, and you won’t be able to enjoy everything as much as you might like. If I had the opportunity to go again, I would in a heartbeat. The MAXXI has new exhibits all the time, and I just can’t get over how awesome this building is!

Have any of our readers had the pleasure of visiting the MAXXI? If so, please share and comment with details. If not, leave a comment anyway with your impressions of the building design! Thanks for reading!

** Featured image via Zaha Hadid Architects