Architecture, Art, Books September 26, 2010 By Nalina Moses
View of ramps from the first floor.  'Dialogue 09-MAXXI' performance.

View of ramps from the first floor.

     Hadid has always had an eye for dramatic perspectives, using stretched and cantilevered surfaces to exaggerate effects of depth and movement. Long before she won a building commission Hadid became famous for a series of paintings she completed for a 1983 competition entry, The Peak. They pictured a new kind of pulsating, post-cubist space, and established a formal vocabulary that would inform all her work. The interior spaces at MAXXI aren’t as jarring or cerebral as this vocabulary, expressed so forcefully on the exterior, would suggest. The building’s long, broad passages open gracefully into larger exhibit and performance spaces called Suites. Its softly-lit, curving concrete walls have a warm feeling, and forge a strong sense of procession and community. The building draws people inside like a plaza for art. In that sense this visionary structure is at heart also rather traditional.

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