Google Maps allows users to virtually tour many architectural landmarks, from Zaha Hadid’s MAXXI Museum to Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye.
While museums, exhibitions and international design fairs have closed or postponed their programmes until further notice due to the global outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, many architecture enthusiasts are welcome to virtually tour several building landmarks on Google Maps. From Zaha Hadid’s MAXXI Museum in Rome to Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye on the outskirts of Paris to Casa Batlló by Antonio Gaudí in Barcelona, iconic architecture is more accessible than ever before.
Completed in 2009, the museum spans 30,000 square metres and was designed to blur the boundaries between indoors and outdoors. Attempting to “supercede the notion of the museum as ‘object’,” MAXXI’s design features a series of confluent lines – walls intersecting and separating to create a variety of spatial experiences.
Located in Rome’s Flaminio neighbourhood, the museum was constructed on the site of the former Montello military barracks and integrates with the surrounding urban fabric, to which it offers a ‘permeable’ plaza, wrapped by Hadid’s signature forms.
Another building that is available to tour online is the modernist 1929 Villa Savoye, which highlights Le Corbusier’s take on the French country house, and which was responsible for transforming the architect’s career.
Responding to Le Corbusier’s aspirations and admiration of mechanised design, the villa features his ‘Five Points’ of architecture: pilotis, a flat roof terrace, an open plan, ribbon windows and a free facade.
Elsewhere, virtual tourists can also visit Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo’s Casa Studio in Mexico City, which is dedicated to preserving the memory and artwork of both artists. Designed by Juan O’Gorman, the complex is one of Latin America’s first functionalist structures and consists of two houses – Rivera and Kahlo lived separately – connected by a small bridge.