Photo credit: Werner Huthmacher. Mountaineer Reinhold Messner is a renowned adventurer who has achieved incredible feats: he was the first person to climb Mount Everest without the aid of an oxygen tank, as well as the first to ascend all 14 mountains around the world that are over 8,000 meters high. Since earning these accomplishments, he’s created a series of museums dedicated to mountain culture across the Alps. His sixth and final installment is called the Messner Mountain Museum Corones. Designed by architect Zaha Hadid, it’s an impressive concrete structure embedded within Mount Kronplatz.
The massive museum sits 7,000 feet above sea level and occupies over 10,000 square feet of space. Three angular canopies emerge from the ground, mimicking large boulders that you’d see on the mountainside. They’re made from glass-reinforced fiber concrete, and they have a pale gray exterior that blends into the neighboring limestone surface. To offset the exterior, the inside of the building has slightly darker tones that match the anthracite coal buried deep underground.
Hadid’s design offers an awe-inspiring look at the surrounding landscape. She explains in a press release, “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 overhanging terrace with its spectacular, panoramic views.”
The Messner Mountain Museum Corones was recently opened to the public in late July, and it’s home to artifacts, images, and tools from the brave explorer’s life.