Regium Waterfront project, Italy, by Zaha Hadid

Curved building pictured across the water
(Image credit: press)

The upcoming Maxxi National Modern Art museum in Rome will be the first Italy project by Zaha Hadid to be completed in 2009, but meanwhile the architect has a growing number of ongoing projects all over the country, including a modern art museum in Cagliari, a housing block in Florence and a train station in Naples. Last week, one more was added to the list, when the agreement for the Regium Waterfront project was officially signed at the Italian embassy in London.

See more of plans and renderings of Zaha Hadid's Regium Waterfront project

This new project covers a large strip of the waterfront area of Reggio Calabria and includes not one, but two separate buildings, as well as the landscaping work between them. As the city’s mayor, Dr Giuseppe Scopelliti stated, this will be a project, planned to give a new breath to the whole area: ‘Ever since I was first elected in 2002, I was looking for a project to rejuvenate and regenerate the area. We decided to invest resources in the beautiful seaside kilometre of the harbour, to create a prestigious project, something that would become a icon of Reggio Calabria.’

The complex, realised with private as well as public funding, will consist of two different buildings; a Museum of the Mediterranean History and a multifunctional building for performing arts, including a library, auditoriums, gym, craft workshop areas and a cinema. Keeping its connection with the Reggio Calabria area strong, the museum will be devoted to one of the most famous people coming from the region, Gianni Versace.

‘It is a fantastic, very ambitious project. We really pushed the limits with the design,’ Patrick Schumacher added proudly during the signing ceremony last week, explaining how the design draws inspiration from organic forms, aiming for distinctive shapes, in order to be visible both from the sea and the coast; the complex is set to become one of the region’s most contemporary landmarks.

Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture & Environment Director at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018), Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020) and House London (2022).