MART, between art and architecture


Contemporary Art

I recently had the chance to visit the MART, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Trento and Rovereto. Besides being one of Italy’s most important modern and contemporary art museums, the MART is also located in a building that has struck me for its majesticness and stylistic refinement.

It was designed by renowned Ticino-born architect Mario Botta, who took inspiration from classical models – in particular the Pantheon’s dome – for the choice of shapes. A dome with avant-garde features made of steel and plexiglass, featuring a missing segment, something that was made possible through complex engineering solutions. If you are visiting MART on a sunny day, you will be able to appreciate also the lighting effects caused by the sunlight: an incredibly beautiful masterpiece.

The coating features yellow stones from Vicenza, traditionally employed by Palladio, which transform even the bare structure of the building itself into a true work of art.

Mario Botta, just before the MART’s inauguration, wrote: “ A new square, sheltered by a glass dome, has become the barycentric heart this new complex, and at the same time the image of the whole museum surrounding it. The empty space within this indoor square is therefore the true matrix of this architectural composition, which in its own centrality focuses this project’s primary concept”. A live plaza square that has turned this museum into a wide multiform cultural space, the MART within its public places in fact accommodates a library, an auditorium, a theatre and a park. Besides exhibitions, events and workshops, it welcomes artists, curators and firms, on both a local and an international level. That’s why today the MART is a key European expository space, serving as a focal point for dialogue and discussion to the whole surrounding area, a complex machine continuously stirring motivation.