Beyond Rome: 7 New Museums Revealing Italy’s Contemporary Renaissance

Eric Baldwin Eric Baldwin

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With an architectural history spanning over 3,000 years, Italy holds an incredible legacy. Located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, the country has become a global capital of art, culture and religion. Surrounded by monumental contexts, new works of architecture and design must address a myriad of constraints both urban and symbolic in nature. This holds especially true within museums and cultural projects, buildings where heritage and experience are intertwined.

Expanding on our recent travel guide showcasing contemporary building projects across Rome, the following collection takes a closer look at museums sited across Italy. Revealing a kind of contemporary renaissance within their surroundings, each museum looks to break from a historicist mold while simultaneously celebrating novel exhibition methods. Looking beyond the country’s capital, the projects show unique approaches to designing modern works in diverse contexts.

© Marco Zanta

© Marco Zanta

© Marco Zanta

© Marco Zanta

Museo Bailo by studiomas architetti associati, Treviso, Italy

Located in Treviso near Venice, this art museum is housed within a 15th-century monastery building. Showcasing a collection of 20th-century art, the museum was renovated with a new façade and cross-shaped frontage enveloped in polished Marmorino plaster.

MEIS – National Italian Judaism and Shoah Museum by SCAPE, Ferrara, Italy

SCAPE’s design for the National Italian Judaism and Shoah Museum explores both monumentality and Hebrew culture. Created as a landscape through which memories run and intertwine, the proposal was made with signs and marks that delineate how the museum engages with the city.

Pythagoras Museum by OBR, Crotone, Italy

OBR’s Pythagoras museum is located on the outskirts of a southern Italian town overlooking the city below. Simultaneously designed for international tourism and to promote the city of Crotone, the museum was conceived as a partially hypo-epigean space integrated into its topography and landscape.

Museion | Museum of Modern Art by Krüger Schuberth Vandreike (KSV), Merano, Italy

Merano’s Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art was designed with critical simplicity and restraint amongst its context. Located on the edge of the old town of Bolzano, the project includes a new bridge across the River Talvera also designed by KSV.

MUSE and Le Albere in Trento by Renzo Piano Building Workshop, Trento, Italy

Renzo Piano’s new Museum of Science in Trento was designed as part of a major urban regeneration plan. Located in an area known as Ex-Michelin, the project explored the hierarchy and functional complexity of both the project and its surroundings.

Gucci Museum by PARC Office, Florence, Italy

The Gucci museum was designed within the context of the Piazza della Signoria in Florence. Programmatically, the museum includes both temporary and permanent galleries, as well as archive, café and bookstore space.

Messner Mountain Museum Corones by Zaha Hadid Architects, South Tyrol, Italy

ZHA’s Messner Mountain Museum was designed around mountaineering. Located within the Alpine destination of Mount Kronplatz, the project was informed by the geology and topography of its context. Overlooking the Zillertal Alps, the Dolomites and the Marmolada glacier, the design includes glazed apertures and viewing balconies.

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