A Magnificent Sunset in Rome.

Whether you are a football fan or not, and even not being Italian enough to lough and enjoy the stand-up show in the Olimpico theatre, Rome's Flaminio quarter still has a jewel to offer: Maxxi, a museum of contemporary arts and architecture awaits to charm you in the area where once stood derelict military barracks.

Zaha Hadid, a global architecture trendsetter, who recently passed away, designed the project that was erected in the old Guido Reni military compound. On Federico Babina's Archicards, Hadid is pictured as a wizard, and with Maxxi she has indeed reached magical results: on the day of my visit, children were playing in a park around the main building, there was an art convention going on, and the museum was buzzing with visitors of all ages, amongst them yours truly in her mid-thirties accompanied by an art-loving family member in his mid-sixties. Adding to its rich plethora of activities, Maxxi is also a part of Open House Rome Project that takes the visitors on free guided tours through interesting buildings related to art, fashion and architecture all over the city. Plus, Maxxi hosts regular yoga classes and art laboratories for kids. It can be said that the architect’s desire for Maxxi to grow into an interactive space, a campus of art, uniting generations of visitors and residents of the Eternal city, came perfectly true.

Already the building of the museum itself is an impressive more-than-meets-the-eye art-work, its curved lines and the glass roof create an illusion of an open, yet defined space. This unique curvilinear design also represents the wish to blend into the environment itself: not to be an object, but to encapsulate the idea of a field of buildings, as Hadid once described it. It is not for the faint hearted though: open space Hadid-way means there is a third-storey glass floor to walk on, and believe me, from the third storey the view of the Roman sunset is as magnificent as the astonishing view onto the ground below.

Currently on display: a powerful audio-visual exhibition about the last day and the assassination of Yitzak Rabin by an Israeli architect-turned-artist and filmmaker Amos Gitai; splendid architectural masterpieces of SuperStudio 50 projects, featuring a marvellous collection on how to redesign Italian historical city centres;  Jimmie Durham's Sounds and Stillness; and the Maxxi evergreen  permanent collection that amazes time and again. Unfortunately, yours truly did not make it to see a tribute-to-Hadid tour of the museum that took place on the 14th of May, but decided to come back nevertheless. Very soon. 

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