Messner, Mountain, Museum, Kronplatz, mountaineering, South Tyrol, architecture, Zaha Hadid
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South Tyrol’s Messner Mountain Museum

South Tyrol’s awe-inspiring Messner Mountain Museum, designed by Zaha Hadid architects and sitting atop Mount Kronplatz’s beautiful summit plateau (2,275m), is an ode to the history of mountaineering itself. Its 6-metre hanging terrace juts proudly out of the mountaintop, offering sweeping views out past all points of the South Tyrolean compass as well as incomparable mountainside vistas of the Alps and the Dolomites.

A permanent mountain museum dedicated to the history of traditional mountaineering, the Messner Mountain Museum, or MMM Corones as it is also known (or Plan de Corones) is the last of six mountainside projects to go up through South Tyrol and Belluno, each of which were lovingly driven and influenced by renowned mountaineering icon, Reinhold Messner, famed as the first mountain-climber to climb all 14 of the world’s peaks over 8,000 metres.

Messner envisioned the museum emerging from the mountain in three places: two windows looking out toward the peaks of Peitlerkofel and Heiligkreuzkofel, and a balcony facing Ortler and South Tyrol.

“The idea is that visitors can descend within the mountain to explore its caverns and grottos before emerging through the mountain wall on the other side, out onto the terrace overhanging the valley far below with spectacular, panoramic views,” Hadid said in a statement.

It’s made out of reinforced concrete walls, distributed in several levels and nuanced externally by the effect of the fiberglass to minimize the impact on the land; only the grid of steel incisions breaks the organic lines of this customized architecture, a symbol of respect and passion for mountains embodied by the study of Zaha Hadid.

As Reinhold Messner says himself: 'Corones' is the Latin word for 'crown', like 'Krone' in German. And Kronplatz... – South Tyrol’s famous mountain for skiers and hikers - … is now home to the crowning piece of my mountain museum project.

Offering unique views of the Dolomites and the Alpine mountain walls, as well as views out past all points of the compass – from the Lienz Dolomites in the east to the Ortler in the west and from the Marmolada in the south to the Zillertal Alps in the north, Kronplatz’s viewing platform is famed as the most incredible in all South Tyrol.

Kronplatz’s MMM Corones speaks of man’s 250-year old struggle with the mountain through art, memoir, relics and sculpture, while its classic Zaha Hadid concrete design mirrors the incredible mountainous South Tyrolean surroundings. 

Famed as a winter skiing haven and meeting place for Italian, Ladin and German cultures, the Messner Mountain Museum was built to revitalise Kronplatz in the summer months.

Messner, Mountain, Museum, Kronplatz, mountaineering, South Tyrol, architecture, Zaha Hadid
Messner, Mountain, Museum, Kronplatz, mountaineering, South Tyrol, architecture, Zaha Hadid

Luckily we have a dinky design-haven of a restored 13th century farmhouse B&B, Niedermairhof, which is conveniently just a 10 minutes-drive to the cable car that whisks you up at ninja speed to the museum (or a 4-hour power hike for you sports bunnies). Tucked away in Brunico, one of the most idyllic towns in all South Tyrol, Niedermairhof’s architecture is distilled from Hadid’s Plan de Corones – its clever concrete and metal designs surrounded by flowery meadows, burbling streams and bespoke stylish rooms influenced by the surrounding nature itself.

Kronplatz’s MMM Corones is for sure the perfect summer & winter-time stop-off.

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