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  • 1. TWO MUSEUMSHabibeh Madjdabadi MAXXI Museum, Zaha Hadid, 2010: Upon entering the precinctof the museum, I thought I have approached the wrong building, for I had always seen in architectural books a bird-eye view which : . naturally has nothing in common with that from visitors eyelevel.The reason for presenting the building from a bird-eye view is to demonstrate its connection with the environment, a fact that can- not be explained otherwise. When you are in the real location in1. front of the building you do not realize such connection. The mainreason behind the construction of this museum, also emphasized the initial brief for the project, was to connect it to the city and . according to Zaha Hadid herself, to allow the city to penetrate2 . the museum and vice versa. However, the relatively vast area infront of the museum functioning as a common courtyard for the 3 4 museum and the residential context does not enjoy the livelinessand dynamism of an urban space and is devoid of the joy and ex- 7 . . 5 6 citement of George Pompidou Museum. Not all this is the fault of 6002 0102 architecture. The quality of the relationship between the museumand the city very much depends on the function of the surrounding. urban texture which is, in this case, a calm one. However, MAXXI Museum is a closed and introverted building with regards to its . . architecture and one cannot expect it to establish much relationwith its surroundings. Nevertheless, the architectural concepts applied for the ) 1(. interior space is intriguing. What catch the eye upon entering themuseum are different layers of ramps and stairs flying above your head in the entrance demonstrating the complicated dynamism . of spatial relations. The experience of passing through pathwaysresembling continuous ribbons sliding on top of one another in different levels is similar to penetrating different geological layers. . The entrance hall is lofty and the surrounding walls are flawlesslyexecuted made out of seamless concrete up to their highest point.The building is three storeys high but constructed in more than2010 three sliding levels with vertical visual connection. Visiting the mu- 8. seum starts form ticket counter on the ground floor. This sectionis connected to the old part of the Montello building. When facing the first gallery, the door on the left hand side of the entrance hall leads to a hall used for screening and for the talks held infestivals. The hall ceiling is covered in linear fluorescent lights ex- . 9 tending up to back wall of the hall. The cafeteria and architectural . section of the museum are also located on the ground floor. The section for architectural images collection, located at the Montellorenovated building consists of a simple rectangular hall named . 0391 after Scarlo Carpa and another hall titled Claudia Gian Ferrari. In . this section an archive of black and white pictures of Italian mod-ern architecture is exhibited. Gallery No. 1 located in front of these . two galleries at the end of the ground floor is the only gallery not lit with daylight. Gallery No. 2 is placed on top of this gallery.The interesting point is the circulation and how the museum is visited and discovered distancing itself from the traditional style..(2 )In the museum guide, path selection in this museum has been compared to that of a jungle. In it, the viewer is free to access thefive galleries and other spaces in any sequence she desires to. A staircase and lift at the end of Gallery No. 1 and another staircase . in the main entrance void provide access to upper floors. Anotherlift is located on the ground in front of Claudia Ferrari Gallery through which reach the last floor and the fifth gallery viewing the . 90/90

2. Right to left: Brandhorst, Porsche & BMW Museums 1- : . . spaces from above gradually descending through ramps and stairs.of the cars and invented engines.Natural lighting controlled with dynamic ceiling shades is Museum galleries are defined and divided in two groups: Nar-among the distinguishable lighting qualities of these galleries. Therative Galleries and Collection Galleries. On the wall of the gallerysystem can completely darken the spaces in times needed. Sinusalong the ramp, a visual history of important events, critical histori-curves on the ceiling actually support the shades and emphasize cal periods and attractive characters of the world of art, music andthe fluid movement of paths.politics from all around the world are portrayed. Images of the worldThe museum is dedicated to the art and architecture of the 20th wars, pop music stars such as the Beatles, of Churchill and Mus-and 21st centuries. However, one can hardly concentrate on thesolini, and parallel to it, the story of the success and developmentexhibited artworks without paying attention to the architecture ofof Benz Company and Karl Benz, Dailmer and Maybachs familythe museum itself. In many contemporary museums the architec- pictures engage the viewer with the story influencing them with thetural attractiveness of the building surpasses that of the exhibitedfailures and success of these people raising appreciation.artworks. MAXXI is an example. In this museum the weight ofNarrative Galleries are connected in different floors throughspaces where artworks are exhibited are less than spaces whereramps and Collection Galleries through another path which is aarchitecture is put on display. In fact, in this project Zaha Hadid has ramp/stair path. Therefore, on each floor the viewer can reachdedicated certain spaces with a simple architecture and neutral the next floor in two different ways and shift between Narrativecolours to exhibition of contemporary art and in other sections,and Collection galleries. The location of these galleries changesincluding the entrance hall and connecting or circulation spaces, clockwise on each floor. Despite the complexity of spatial relationsdemonstrates her complicated architectural style. The architectureof the galleries, these relations follow a particular order which, onceof MAXXI museum has an independent identity separate from the you have realized it, allows you to comprehend the circulation ofartworks it hosts, so that if all art objects in this museum are re-the museum. Of course this conformity of the exhibition spaces andplaced with some other it will not affect the identity of the museum. the turnings of spiral ramps surrounding them, creates the chancefor experiencing the space from different angles and from closeMercedes Benz, UN Studio, 2006: Circulation in both museums and afar. The automobiles can be viewed separately and in detailhappens on a ramp and from top to bottom. In Guggenheim, thefrom close or as a collection from the above. Ben van Berkel hasramp goes round a central void while in van Berkels project theavoided detached closed spaces and limited views; rather, in orderramps move round three circular spaces and descend in the formto create open continuous spaces, he has made use of a complexof a spiral. The position of ramps changes clockwise on each floorstructural system. Galleries span 30 meters in width--comparableas the ramp descends. This shift starts from the highest point on to a highway--without any columns. The three vertical elementsthe eighth floor and is repeated on all floors down to the second are located on the sides of the central triangle, and together withfloor.faade trusses, act as main structural elements. Considering the The museum pattern is based on a clover form with threecomplexity of the design, full-scale models of some parts of thewings. As it is clear in the concept diagram the plan is made of thebuilding playing a structural role were made prior to building con-intersection of three circles. Their intersection creates a trianglestruction.which is the central atrium. The circular spaces of galleries resem- Another interesting point is the harmony and homogeneity ofbling a clover are arranged around the central atrium connected the interior architectural design and the lighting of the building. Cer-through the spiral ramp. Store, exhibition and restaurant are tainly different teams have been involved in designing this project.located in the basement connected to the parking. In projects of such a large scale, there are general regulations Museum entrance is on the ground floor. In order to visit thefor harmonizing different design teams concerned. For instance,museum you must use one of the three lifts located in the central in the case of this building, the colour and textures of the interioratrium to go up to the eighth floor. It is as if you have got into aspace are specifically defined. The use of lively colours is limited totime machine and go back to the time of the invention of the firstspaces that are less seen, spaces such as lifts, toilets and exists.motor car. As the lift stops at the eighth floor you hear horse hoofIn main spaces neutral colours are used so as to attract more at-beats and enter a hall at the centre of the building on top of thetention to automobiles. The use of texture is also limited to differentcentral atrium. In the middle of the hall you see a stuffed horse combinations of circles with different diameters. Textures of fineunder which a sentence by King Wilhelm II is written: I do believe dots and small or large circles are visible in the flooring or the ceil-in the horse. The automobile is no more than a transitory phenom- ings, in the arrangement of lamps or the choice of lamp forms.enon. The rest of the scenario is a response to