Mountaintop Museum: Underground Rooms Tunnel into Peak

mountain museum overlook ledge

In a bold yet beautifully contextual move, this embedded mountaintop museum structure is part of a series of buildings set high in the mountains of Tyrol, Italy, and designed by Zaha Hadid Architects.

mountain museum spatial sequence

Visitors ascend the slope from below, enter a glazed above-ground space, then pass through subterranean exhibit rooms and come out onto an observation deck with stunning views down the steep sides of the mountain below.

mountain building underground rooms

The sixth of the set, Messner Mountain Museum is situated at the peak of Mount Kronplatz above a regional ski resort. It is designed to educate visitors on the discipline of mountaineering and celebrate the world’s greatest rock faces.

mountain section cut entrance

Aside from its sinuous aesthetic, the strength of this design relies on sequential experience – movement through the building provides an appreciation for both the site and the subject matter of the museum. It works, quite literally, on a number of levels.

mountaineering museum lower platforms

From the architects: “A composition of fluid, interconnected volumes, the 1000 sq. m. MMM Corones design is carved within the mountain and informed by the geology and topography of its context. A sharp glass canopy, like a fragment of glacial ice, rises from the rock to mark and protect the museum’s entrance”