The Museo di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea Rovereto - or thankfully MART, for short - is one of Italy’s finest bastions of art, culture and architecture, as designed by architect Mario Botta. Filled to the brim with some of the most important contemporary art pieces ever created, from Warhol’s Four Marilyns, to several Picassos, and contemporary art masters ranging from Arnulf Rainer to Anselm Keifer, MART stands strong as one of the most important art spaces in Europe – and a must do when in Italy’s Trentino-Alto Adige.
A building that breathes with its surroundings, Mario Botta made sure to impose upon MART’s architectural façade an understanding and symmetry with its 18th century corso Bettini setting, specifically choosing the yellow, sandy stone of Vincenza to blend and create a subtle dialogue between past and present.
“Architecture that does not take into consideration the relationship with the town and surroundings is rejecting the most considerable part of its mandate” – Mario Botta.
Step past the Vincenza yellow stone into the interior of MART and spy a huge four-floor behemoth of marble, glass and steel. The central atrium acts as the building’s centre of gravity and its imposing steel dome is reminiscent of a stylish spider web, or a scene from a James Bond movie – whichever it is, this is architecture to gawp at, worthy of holding such famous pieces of art.
Designed less as a traditional art museum and more as a “cultural pole”, MART acts as a hotspot for a variety of exhibitions, talks and presentations, and its numerous masterpieces in residence lend themselves to varied and continuous loans and collaborations with Italy and the wider world’s finest art museums, making MART a place of ‘always happening’ culture and retrospective contemporary creation.
“A building always reshapes new relations; it cannot be indifferent” – Mario Botta.
Italy’s MART seamlessly blends its surrounding antique world with its celebrated contemporary interior one, a perfect fusion of art and architecture that is sure to get your culture kid pulses racing when in sunny Alto Adige/South Tyrol. Just a one hour drive from minimalist haven of vineyard cool, Das Wanda, one hour 20 minutes from both the smooth artistic townhouse haven of Ottmanngut and mountainside chillaxed den of Gloriette Guesthouse, and an hour and a half from mountaintop infinity of a sleek penthouse vibe, Miramonti, there’s no excuse, really, to not make the journey.
For more on architecture legend Mario Botta, peek in our Travel Journal at the work he did on feminist artist Niki de Saint Phalle’s incredible Tuscan Tarot Garden, or peek at Zaha Hadid’s Italian Cilento Seascape, or South Tyrolean Messner Mountain Museum. Over the mountains take a journey along Zermatt’s record-breaking suspension bridge, and check out Niedermairhof’s intelligent acoustic design in old farmhouse walls.