Fab 40: MAXXI
New builds in Rome have to negotiate a mountain of cultural baggage – just ask Richard Meier – so the imminent unveiling of Zaha Hadid's new National Museum of XXI Century Arts should provide grandstand seats for those who like major culture clashes.
See more of Hadid's Museum
In fairness, no one commissions Hadid without expecting fireworks, and the MAXXI, as it's been known since the project was kick-started a decade ago, certainly doesn't disappoint. The low-level building – designed to house exhibition space for the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities – snakes its way through a collection of existing industrial structures. The architects call this bundle of sinuous concrete forms a 'quasi-urban field,' as opposed to a conventional building, a space through which the viewer drifts, almost at random.