The beginning of June 2010 will be remembered in Rome as the beginning of a new era in contemporary art. With the opening of the brand new MAXXI museum by Zaha Hadid (which CH previewed a few months ago) comes the inauguration of another impressive structure—a new wing at the Museum of Contemporary Art Rome.
MACRO opened in 1999 in the former Peroni beer factory, located Rome's central Salario district. In 2001, French architect Odile Decq won the international competition to redevelop the venue and the resulting structure is truly remarkable.
The entire building was conceived to blend with the classic neighborhood, through plain surfaces and dark transparencies. In the main hall the auditorium stands out as an iconic piece of design with a red diamond-like shape boasting a bright red interior, rich with functional details. Long gangways float all over the space, surmounted by a large glass ceiling that gives way to natural lighting.
From there is the Great Hall, now showing gigantic works by Mario Schifano, Subodh Gupta, Jannis Kounellis and Tom Sachs.
The 500-square-meter white gallery is a space suitable for smaller works of art, such as the poetic custom-made installation by American-Japanese artist Jacob Hashimoto.
The bar maintains the central red them while intermingling with other colors, and the museum's huge terrace offers a unique view of the rooftops of Rome. Even the restrooms are worth a visit, with lighting, mirrors and metallic surfaces providing their own artistic experience.
The new MACRO building will be fully functional starting October 2010.