Grande MAXXI

Grande MAXXI

Maxxi Grande is an opportunity to create a new kind of green urbanity combining new technologies for improved cities’ sustainability and people’ well being. Materialized in a new building merged in a landscape system where a digital innovaton hub, a center of excellence for the restoration of contemporary art and open to the public art storage area are interconnected in a fluid and accessible way outside and in the direct environment of the new construction. Part of the new landscape is materialized in the envelope of the new strong connection agent within the small urban scale of Maxxi and in the wider context of Rome including the River Tiber offering playful and pleasant mundane activities within the new open squares and promenades. Main objectives include offering a more diverse vegetation including edible and olfactive well for different climbing plants and some areas of this mesh will be planted with more experimental

borrows technologies of planting by aerial spraying.


Vegetal used as a material for the very design of Building A offering new collective and playful spaces/activites and open Maxxi to an even larger general public, for Rome citizens, tourists, enjoying a much improved part of the city thanks to the large sloped clearing/lilke leading to enjoying views on the whole city from the top of Building A. The building has been designed with a large number of public spaces where different specialists can’cross polinate’ their knowledge.

Building a Description:

-A landscaped building

The new building has been designed to be combined with the landscape project set in stages for affordability and better thriving of species over the years. It features a double skin and a contemporary wooden trellis for 2 sorts of climbing plants.

-Climbing plants on wooden gridshell

The evergrren that reach 3 m tall all year long and the deciduous species which leaves change colour in automn and fall in winter are going up to the top of the building. Some areas of the grid shell will be drone sprayed to create some patches of vertical gardens for

species such as Moss and succulents that require sparse water and almost no roots.

-Large open covered space passes underneath the building
A large open public hall passes through the slope to join the other side of the building. On the side of the big green slope larger terraces offer private terraces for people working in the building. The extra large planted slope joining the existing squares down the Maxxi museum and the roof top of Building A will be a green space, clearing-like planted with aromatic plants and succulents that has short roots. The first part of the slope until it reaches 6 m tall is a landfill so that trees such as Hackberry trees reaching up to 15 m tall. The entire promenade from the bottom of the slope to the roof garden is accessible for everyone  with a 4,5% slope. There are 2 ’miradors’ accessible by lift at intermediate level and on top of the roof. The intermediate slope access is accessible by the liftlocated in the public open covred hall. The rest of the connecting landscape between the envelope of Building A and the existing squares are composed of fruit trees of different colours including cherry trees, Hack berry and sweetgum trees.The terraced landscape of the building envelope is planted with diverse succulent cactus and aromatic short root plants.

-Internal organization of the building

The innovation hub, the center of excellence for training in contemporary art restoration and the storage areas open to the public constitute the 3 main entities of the building.The 3 kind areas have been designed in a very connected way with a large number of common halls. Storage of art collection and open to the public art collection give directly on Via Masaccio. The collections are present in the different areas of the building including underneath the clearing like slope. A Sculptures open space underneath the slope is mixed with some temporary playgrounds that can be renewed once a year. The classrooms will have bright views on the city and some of them access to a private terrace.

-The building engineering

The building primary structure is a regular 7 m grid and equiped with large windows behind the wooden trellis. All building components and systems are expected to support sustainability, as have procurement, construction methods and specifications. All significant fixtures are of durable construction and capable of repair, dismantling and reuse where relevant. The current preferred foundation solution for the proposed development consists of shallow strip and pad footings founded on the sand layer at an approximate depth of 2m below ground level. There are no basement areas within the proposed development and all of the proposed foundations are to be founded above the level of the ground water. Pad and Strip foundations are proposed to be constructed in open cut excavations with battered sides where possible. The presence of existing services may preclude the use of battered excavations in some areas. For these, trench sheeting should be used to ensure stability of the sides of the excavation. When developing the foundation solution we may find that the optimum foundations clash with tree root zones for retained trees. Should this happen, individual solutions and construction methods will need to be developed for each instance to ensure the designs comply with specialist advice for the protection of the health of the trees.

The proposed extension building consists of an insitu reinforced concrete frame arranged on a 6m x 15m maximum orthogonal grid. Reinforced concrete columns and beams are set on grid and support either RC ribbed slabs or RC flat slabs depending on the spans and the use of the spaces. A number of reinforced concrete circulation cores are distributed at the corners of the building and provide lateral stability to the frame. In addition to the large spans the primary drivers and aspirations considered for the choice of fl oor system have been as follows:

• To meet the architectural aspirations with respect to layout,function and aesthetics

• Overall permissible structural zone
• Exposed concrete soffits
• Thermal mass of the floors

• To minimise the building weight

Typically the primary RC Beam are 600mm wide x 850mm deep, however deeper beams are provided along the cladding line to allow a more stringent cladding deflection criteria. Precast Ribbed slab consists of 550 or 650mm deep ribs at 1100mm spacing which span the primary beams. The width of the ribs varies from 250mm wide to 350mm wide depending on the depth and form of construction.Concrete columns and shear walls form the vertical ol ad-bearing elements of the structure. The numbers of columns are kept to a minimum where possible to maximise open- plan spaces in the interior space. A typical internal column size of 600mm square is maintained through-out for consistency of detailing and for architectural consistency. While the perimeter columns vary in shape to suit the cladding line requirements. An external lightweight vertical timber gridshell makes a prominent feature envelope around the building. This element is thought to be as an environmental screen to provide shading and allow vegetation to grow in time and sits outside the thermal envelope of the building. It is envisaged as a lattice of structural timber laths, connected at their intersections and supported vertically on the foundation and restrained horizontally by the floor slabs.

System B Description

A historical axis from the Ponte Milvio : a historical crossing of the Tiber from the north of the city to the Piazza del Popolo, the symbolic north gate of the city center. Between the hills surrounding the city, the vast Tiber plain has hosted the development of the city. In this area, sports and cultural facilities have been installed. The banks of the Tiber can thus become a wide ecological corridor in which sports activities are practiced. A connection of sports and cultural facilities, a group of remakable works (in purple) such as:

1 - Stadio Olimpico; Annibale Vitellozzi (1990)

2 - Stadio dei Marmi; Enrico Del Debbio (1932)

3 - MAXXI Museum; Zaha Hadid (2010)

4 - Palazzetto dello Sport - Villaggio; Annibale Vitellozzi and Pier Luigi Nervi (1957)
5 - Stadio Flaminio; Antonio Nervi and Pier Luigi Nervi (1959)

6 - Auditorium Parco della Musica; Renzo Piano (2002)

and ecological continuities along the Tiber and the hills. In this way, urban activities and ecological richness can become the character of this northern part of Rome. The Maxxi and the Grande Maxxi are the center of the intersection of two major axes (red). A diagonal (light green) of the perpendicular gardens on the banks of the Tiber draws a straight axis whose center falls on the Grande Maxxi, which becomes a belvedere and a place of discovery and perspective of the greater surrounding landscape. The Grande Maxxi, this new equipment of successive belvederes, takes up the geometries of Zaha Hadid’s Maxxi to create a cultivated garden with a well studied pedestrian circulation. Through the play of ramps, a succession of belvederes takes shape. The two main ones at 9 and 18 meters become places where the neighboring hills and the banks of the Tiber are put on show. They extend east/west along the entire length of the Maxxi and could then develop the diagonal towards the Tiber.

The ground, the leveling and the pathways :

Through the play of leveling, the new building becomes the support of a large garden of belvederes. A succession of ramps and stairs allows access through the garden to two main viewpoints at 9 and 18 meters high, accessible to PRM by two elevators, thus allowing to discover the surrounding scenery. The belvedere garden is on 3500 m2 of full soil open ground and on 2100 m2 of the roof of the building, that is to say more than a half a hectare. The organization of terraces on the roof allows the installation of an aromatic garden and perennials of flowers to pick. The terraces, accessible from the offices (or laboratories), are planted with succulent plants or flowering meadows. All of which are adaptable to climate change and have a high capacity of absorbing CO2. In the open ground garden, large trees are planted to frame the entire garden and follow Zaha Hadid’s compositional axes to the banks of the Tiber. In the center, the planting of an orchard with a maximum height of 6 m highlights the cantilever of the Maxxi. The orchard and the trees chosen will manifest of a very high structural solidity of branches and trunks with limited issues related to falling leaves and fruits; and a very high adaptability to the soil through inoculation with mycorrhizal fungi. The belvedere garden extends along the entire length of the site on the east/west axis and diagonally to the banks of the Tiber. Through the heavily planted future plots of land, this diagonal crosses the existing sports facilities while intergrating the Viale Pinturicchio garden. The Maxxi is a remarkable architectural monument that is closed on itself by a series of fences. The Grande Maxxi must then, through its belvedere garden, open this cultural complex to the city and the surrounding lanscape. Zaha Hadid’s Maxxi museum is the center of major axes connecting the north of Rome with its surroundings within the Tiber and beyond. It’s a focal point that ties together a wide group of cultural, natural, educational and sports facilities. The new project, the Grande Maxxi, comes as a complementary juxtaposition to reenforce the existing local and national importance of the museum and to open a once closed public space to the citizens and tourists of Rome. As instated in the given program, the Building A and the space B are a packaged system that functions in synergy and that reintegrates a pedestrian area with urban greenery to a concrete surrounding, while reducing impermeable hardscaping and increasing biodiversity.


In the plan down below, we identify 4 spaces, to each its role in the presented project:

1- Leisure spaces of encounter, pause and relax (pink)
2- Urban aromatic gardens (red)
3- Temporary or permanent installations, exhibitions, or artistic interventions (blue)
4- Experimental cultivated garden for educational purposes, workshops, and art festivals (orange)

These 4 units offer to the pedestrians a new quality of urban spaces and an outdoor art gallery garden. It is now an open space with a diversity of purposes: culture, leisure, education, leisure, relaxation, site seeing, etc. Although these spaces have different vocations, they all serve the sole purpose of a homogeneous permeable space that contemplates the Maxxi while gently adding to it a value of urban presence by installing a new well defined, well drawn green space that gives meaning to the prime location of the Maxxi in the center of a cultural and natural web. Thus, the Grande Maxxi is an ecological hub of proliferating mutating biotically diverse urban spaces that assures a fundamental structural resource for the sustainability and quality of life in the city of Rome.

Design Criteria:

The building thought as a landscape itself in its envelope is extended into the whole original Maxxi site and beyond. The project and species planting is set in stages for healthy growing, vegetal adaptation. The internatl organization of the building is set to give impetus to cross sharing of art, architecture, AI, technology sharing and disciplines within aa new built and planted environment opening up

dramatically the Maxxi grande to the rest of Rome.

Project Name:

Grande MAXXI




Multipurpose Building and Network of Landscaped and Public Space




MuDD Architects