Contemporary Architecture in Rome

Today’s post was written by Neva Marte.

Rome is definitely one of the European cities that gives you an overlook through all the architectural European styles, from The Roman Coliseum and Pantheon to the most outstanding buildings of the 20th and 21st Century.

If you are interested in architecture and art or just a curious traveller, once you have visited the must-sees like the Fori Imperiali and Fontana di Trevi, we suggest you discover some of the outstanding works of contemporary architecture.

Let’s have a look at some of the most emblematic buildings constructed in the Eternal city during the decade we just left behind. At the top of the list of contemporary masterpieces there is the MAXXI, the National Museum of XXI Century Arts (Via Guido Reni 4A), a masterpiece of the Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid, who won the prestigious Sterling Prize for this project. This innovative museum, opened last spring, after being under construction for ten years and stands out for the use of materials like glass, steel and concrete and its almost aseptic appearance.

If you are taking a stroll in the city centre and happen to stay in apartments in Rome the Ara Pacis Museum (Lungotevere in Augusta) is definitely worth a visit. Inaugurated in 2006, designed by the American architect Richard Meier, the museum is built around the altar Ara Pacis Augustae (Altar of Augustan Peace) or just Ara Pacis, that dates back to the 9th Century BC. You have a chance to combine a visit to a valuable archaeological site with a glance at contemporary museum architecture. Maier’s work though has been a subject of controversy and criticism, especially by the right wing mayor Gianni Alemanno, elected in 2008, who initially proposed to tear it down, but recently came to an agreement with the architect about some modifications.

The Italian architect Renzo Piano is the creator of the Parco della Musica –Auditorium (2002), in the Flaminio neighbourhood, a 55.000 multipurpose space dedicated to music and other cultural events, characterized by its three concert halls shaped like a scarab and a huge open air amphitheatre. In October the Parco della Musica is the official venue of the Rome International Film Festival -Festival Internazionale del Film di Roma.

As part of the contemporary architecture tour in Rome we would also like to mention two religious buildings. After resting in Rome apartments you may want to visit the churches Chiesa di Santa Maria della Presentazione (2002, Nemesi Studio) and Chiesa del Dio Padre (2003, Richard Meier).

A visit to Rome will take you time travelling. In no other city you will be able to visit remnants from the Roman Empire, only to turn the corner to see a modern, innovative masterpiece like the MAXXI.

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One Response to “Contemporary Architecture in Rome”

  1. Oh the diversity of Rome! You are right, where else can you see antiquities and then the modern. I have to admit I am a sucker for antiques and not so much a fan of modern but its all good!

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