Guggenheim and MAXXI

MAXXI Museum, Italy’s first national institution and the National Museum of 21st Century Arts, is dedicated to fashionable creativity. The museum is regarded as a cultural campus (Smarthistory. Art, History, Conversation2). The Guggenheim Museum, on the other hand, is an international museum, which is devoted to collection and exhibition of contemporary as well as modern art in NYC and other places. Established in 1939 by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, The Guggenheim Museum offers special exhibitions.

Notably, the use of concrete is critical to the two museums. As seen in the videos, the architects considered the material to be exceptionally suitable to guarantee a long life-span of the canopy floor. It also supplements the plasticity of the building form and satisfies the cantilevered volumes’ technical resolution. Moreover, architects developed significant experience in using concrete as an economical material, which gives the construction designs a visually pleasing look in addition to integrating the building envelope with the structure.

In that regard, concrete transforms, defines, and encapsulates the buildings due to its malleability and plasticity. It influences the structure of museums by giving the buildings a symbol of solidity and permanence. Moreover, in both MAXXI and Guggenheim, concrete represents the astute material canvas upon which the museums absorb and store their artifacts with durability. Accordingly, the marriage between concrete and the typology of the museums remains outstanding.

In regards to their visual elements, it is essential first to underscore that the MAXXI Museum project’s fundamental concept is directly connected to its aim of being the permanent home of the exhibition of visual arts. The principles of design of the building showcase walls, which cross the space with their connections defining the exterior and interior design of the structure. As seen in the video “Zaha Hadid, MAXXI National Museum of XXI Century Arts, Rome,” the building has three complex levels with full links to various bridges, which connect galleries and structures. The movie displays a glass roof that encloses interior spaces. The galleries receive natural light through the glass roof.

The Guggenheim Museum, on the other hand, has an exterior loaded with a cylinder of reinforced concrete that spins toward the sky. Moreover, the exterior’s dramatic curves have more fantastic effect on the interior. The primary design of the Guggenheim Museum shows a single continuous floor with levels of ramps that enhance the sections of the structure and allow visitors to interact on different levels. Equally, the building itself monumental with majestic space within it.

At MAXXI Museum, visitors are not invited into a squashed volume of a remote structure. Instead, guests are directed into a series of continuous spaces. The intersections and variations of the levels as well as the complexity of the curving walls and volumes at different levels demonstrate a rich functional and spatial configuration through which visitors may pass via the unique, unexpected routes.

Equally, at walking inside Guggenheim Museum visitors’ initial intake is a vast atrium.  The open-roofed entrance of the structure extends by several heights to a large glass dome. A continuous ramp unraveling many stories upwards can be seen along the sides of the atrium. As visitors climb upwards towards the sky, the slope creates for them a march to experience the art exposed.

Finally, the issue of whether a museum should be an aesthetic object in its own right or a neutral box, which lets the art inside attract attention, opinions differ. Based on the videos, it can be argued that the Guggenheim Museum employees the idea of a neutral box with a space on a continuous floor while MAXXI Museum seems to be an aesthetic object. However, regarding this question, I would recommend the concept of an aesthetic object. The reason is that the idea allows the museum as artwork to serve a variety of purposes such as providing artistic experiences, exhibition, and representing and expressing a view of the world.









Works Cited

Smarthistory. Art, History, Conversation1. “Frank Lloyd Wright, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum,” YouTube, 15 Oct. 2011, Accessed 6 April 2019.

Art21. “Kara Walker: “A Subtlety, or the Marvelous Sugar Baby” | Art21 “Extended Play,” YouTube, 23 May 2014,

Smarthistory. Art, History, Conversation2. “Zaha Hadid, MAXXI National Museum of XXI Century Arts, Rome,” YouTube, Accessed 6 April 2019.