Maxxi: Hadid’s Stirling Prize winner

These are images of the RIBA Stirling Prize 2010 winning design by architect Zaha Hadid. Described as ‘a building for the staging of art’, her striking new Maxxi Museum of 21st Century Art in Rome is the first Italian public museum devoted entirely to contemporary art and architecture.

Maxxi sits on the outskirts of the city, locally juxtaposed with army barracks and industrial warehouses, overlooking central Rome. Its structurally complex design comprises of a series of protruding concrete and glass boxes. Inside is rationally organised as five main suites that are naturally lit by plethora of skylights – the interior almost encouraging a sense of exploration. The maze of paths and routes form a challenging area for the museum curators to really think of how to hang and exhibit work. In addition, video projections will bounce off the white curves, animating the spaces.

This is the first time Zaha Hadid Architects has been awarded the RIBA Stirling Prize, having been shortlisted on three previous occasions. The RIBA judges called it ‘a mature piece of architecture’.

They said: ‘It is the quintessence of Zaha’s constant attempt to create a landscape as a series of cavernous spaces drawn with a free, roving line. The resulting piece, rather than prescribing routes, gives the visitor a sense of exploration. It is perhaps her best work to date.’

The Stirling shortlists were:

·         Ashmolean Museum, Oxford by Rick Mather Architects
·         Bateman’s Row, London by Theis and Khan
·         Christ’s College School, Guildford by DSDHA
·         Clapham Manor Primary School, London by dRMM
·         Neues Museum, Berlin by David Chipperfield Architects with Julian Harrap Architects

Guest blogger Sean Jackson

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