A First Look Inside The Messner Mountain Museum by Zaha Hadid

Messner Mountain Museum by Zaha Hadid

The Messner Mountain Museum (Museo Messner Corones), the sixth and final museum of an ambitious project by the renowned Italian mountaineer, Reinhold Messner, opened its doors on July 24th. Designed by Zaha Hadid, the 11,000 square foot museum is dedicated to mountain climbing.

Messner Mountain Museum by Zaha Hadid


The MMM is located on the summit plateau of Mount Kronplatz, between the Dolomites and the Central Alps, the most popular skiing mountain in South Tyrol. The unique museum serves to to communicate to visitors Reinhold Messner’s knowledge and experience and the stories that derive from man’s encounter with the mountains.


Zaha Hadid describes the MMM as “A composition of fluid, interconnected volumes(…) carved within the mountain and informed by the geology and topography of its context”

At 7,463 feet above sea level, the architecture of the concrete structure is quite complex. Walls, ceilings, architectural elements that are visible from the outside, such as the entry area, the panorama terrace and windows, have been encased with special ready-made concrete sections through the use of specially provided metal subconstructions.

Inside there are three levels of temporary exhibition galleries, a small multimedia-theater, and various services to the public.




The topmost level houses the entry area with the cashiers, a small museum shop, and the check room along with lockers.



From there, stairways lead like waterfalls over three exhibition levels all the way to the bottom. A central exhibition space as the main focus of the museum offers room for larger exhibits and presentations.




At the lowest floor, visitors on their tour pass by glass-enclosed viewing windows and arrive at a terrace that is nearly 40 square meters (430 square feet), from which they are able to enjoy a lovely 240° panorama from the Zillertal Alps to the Ortles-Ortler to the Dolomites.

In this way, a reference is created between the mountain world outside and the theme of the museum, the great faces as the royal discipline of mountaineering. There is also a cinema with around twenty seats.


above: Reinhold Messner

As the storyteller of traditional mountaineering, it is not my intention to judge or dramatise but simply to condense human experience of a world that is my world, of the 250-year-old contest between man and the mountain. The focus is not on sport and records but on people, on the key contributors to mountaineering, including philosophers and pioneers who had the courage to take the ‘golden step’ from the idea to the deed, disregarding the question “Why?” – Reinhold Messner

Reinhold Messner describes his museum-project as his personal “15th Eight-thousander” in which he wants to capture how human nature unfolds when we are fully exposed and forced to move at the edge of our limits. No artificial oxygen, no bolts and no communication – his strict principles have led him to define and defend a whole new set of values, adding a new dimension to mountaineering which can only be described as art. Although Reinhold Messner insists on establishing rules for none other than himself, the Messner Mountain Museum series has already become a key point of reference for mountain enthusiasts all over the world.

About the Messner Mountain Museums:

MMM currently comprises six museums. MMM Firmian in Sigmundskron Castle near Bozen is the heart of the Mountain Museum; MMM Ortles in Sulden is devoted to the glaciers and the world of eternal ice; at MMM Dolomites on Monte Rite south of Cortina, the focus is on rock and mountain climbing in the Dolomites; MMM Juval in Juval Castle in Vinschgau relates the myths of the mountain. MMM Ripa in Bruneck Castle tells the story of the mountain peoples.

The Messner Mountain Museums are not conventional art or natural science museums; they have an interdisciplinary design. Each of the museums occupies a unique location, which helps relate the museum’s theme to the collections and the architecture. The geographical location, relics and works of art combine to form a whole.

Information courtesy of MMM Photos by Harald Wisthaler, for MMM and by Inexhibit

MMM Corones
Zaha Hadid Architects/

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