"MAXXI is described as a building for the staging of art, and whilst provocative at many levels, this project shows a calmness that belies the complexities of its form and organisation," commented the judges on MAXXI. "The nature of the project means everything has to be over-specified - throughout the design process the architects had no idea what the series of rooms would be used to hang, so walls which will bear a ton of rusting steel might be graced by miniatures.
The museum, for all its structural pyrotechnics, is rationally organised as five main suites. The building is bravely day lit with a sinuous roof of controllable skylights, louvres and beams which orientate and excite the visitor and create uplifting spaces.
This is a mature piece of architecture, the distillation of years of experimentation, only a fraction of which ever got built. 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."
This is the first time Zaha Hadid Architects has been awarded the RIBA Stirling Prize, having been shortlisted for the prize on three previous occasions (Nord Park Cable Railway, Austria, 2008; Phaeno Science Center, Wolfsburg, Germany, 2006; BMW Central Building, Leipzig, Germany, 2005).
Photos: Roland Halbe, IwanBaan