Envisioned by Italian mountaineer Reinhold Messner and designed by starchitect Zaha Hadid, Messner Mountain Museum (MMM) has opened in Corones on the summit plateau of Kronplatz, between the Dolomites and the Central Alps.

The museum opened on 24 July and is the last in a series of six that Messner has constructed on mountaintops across South Tyrol.

Messner dedicated the museum to traditional alpinism stating that MMM Corones addresses ‘the supreme discipline of mountaineering’. The 70-year-old climber is famous for making the first ascent of Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen.

The museum’s site was chosen by Messner for its location, which Artnet News cited the company as calling it ‘a true melting pot of the region’s Ladin, Italian, and German-speaking population’.

Offering panoramic views of the Dolomites, the 1,000m² museum sits 2,275m above sea level, with its architecture blending the structure into the rocky landscape.

The top floor is the entrance to the museum, featuring a cashier section and a small museum shop. Staircases reference the region’s Alpine waterfall, leading to three floors of exhibition space.

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"The 1,000m² museum sits 2,275m above sea level, with its architecture blending the structure into the rocky landscape."

As reported in Architects Journal, the bottom floor features a 40m² terrace, offering 240° views from the Zillertal Alps to the Ortles-Ortler to the Dolomites. A 20-seat cinema is also featured.

Specific items chronicling the story of mountaineering have been curated for MMM Corones, as well as objects and photographs from Messner’s climbing career.

Other museums founded by Messner include the flagship at MMM Firmian, located inside Sigmundskron Castle with mountaineering-related historical artifacts and art; MMM Dolomites on Monte Rite, which focuses on paintings of the legendary mountain range from the Romantic period to contemporary artists; and MMM Juval in Juval Castle, which includes paintings of the world’s ‘holiest’ mountains.

Further, MMM Rimuseupa in Bruneck Castle in the Puster Valley focuses on international mountaineering achievements in Asia, Africa, South America, and Europe; and the ice-themed MMM Museum at Mount Ortler features paintings from the icy mountain, as well as exhibits on ice climbing equipment and other arctic-themed artifacts.

Image: Opening of MMM Corones in Dolomites. Photo courtsey of Messner Mountain Museum.