The recently inaugurated MMM Corones is a new museum about mountain culture that majestically sits atop of Mount Kronplatz in South Tyrol, Italy.
Sitting at the top of Mount Kronplatz, on of the most popular ski resorts in the Italian Alps, the MMM Corones is no ordinary museum.
Inaugurated in July, the Corones – the Latin word for “crown” that is also the Italian name of the mountain – offers stunning views of the surrounding Dolomites and is dedicated to traditional alpinism.
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“This project is about what happen when men and mountains meet,” Reinhold Messner told CNN.
“I’m using it to express all my knowledge on mountains and reveal that mountaineering has been part of the European culture for 250 years.”
This is the sixth and last museum that Messner has opened in South Tyrol. The previous five — called “Firmian, Ortles, Dolomites, Juval and Ripa“, explored the themes of rock, ice, holy mountains, and mountains and people. The names are all preceded by the acronym “MMM”, which stands for “Messner Mountain Museum.”
Built on several levels, the construction has a small footprint – about 1,000 square meters or 11,000 square feet. Its design allows for a constant temperature level in both summer and winter, making it remarkably energy-efficient.
Messner used a simple sketch to indicate his requirements to Zaha Hadid: “She knew that there was a necessity to build a museum that was under the earth, with two huge windows in certain directions and a balcony,” he said.
“The rest is hers. She had the idea to design it like a waterfall in the mountain and it became an extraordinary project.”
At the lowest floor, visitors pass by glass-enclosed viewing windows and arrive at a terrace from which they can enjoy a 240-degree panorama, spanning from the Zillertal Alps to the Orties-Ortler to the Dolomites.
Zaha Hadid explains the principles of her design with these words: “The idea is that visitors can descend into 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 its spectacular, panoramic views.”
He holds the distinction of being the first climber to have captured all 14 “eight-thousanders“, the peaks over 8,000 meters above sea level.
He refers to his mountain-themed museum chain as “my 15th eight-thousander.”
The museum is open to visitors every day between 10am and 4pm.
This feature originally appeared in CNN Edition.