Clouds (museum complex of history and culture)


Matera is a unique place, was the first site in Southern Italy to be named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1993. The cultural landscape defines an extraordinary city, remembered with the acronym of «Città dei Sassi» or «Città Sotterranea» for the presence of most old rural population in the world. In this context of ancient athmosfere we want to imagine the new Museum of Culture, a container of traditions able to better enhance the historical elements that make up the identity of the city. Exhibition rooms of local crafts and laboratory for artistic workshops will connect visitors and the population to create new synergies. The Museum for Matera will combine the tradition of the past and contemporary instances.

Project information

Authors: Aleksandr Belov, Julia Dolzikova
Location: Matera, Italy
Context: city of culture
Idea: city in the clouds
Tags: airy, cloud, emotional, motion, tranquility, way, white


The main idea is to make a massive museum space as airy as possible. This is achieved by visual separation of the main mass gravity center of museum from the ground, as well as through use of light materials. The museum is now perceived as a cloud that has descended on the city.

The building of the museum is divided into two units united by a street. In the first unit there is a lecture hall for 105 people and offices. In the second — foyer, a small cafe, exhibition halls and workshops.

The exhibition and workshops occupy the whole area of the floor and represent a large space, visually separated by partitions. Thus, the workshops and the exhibition, like the circulation of air in the clouds, mix into a single space and lose clear boundaries. The interior space is illuminated by natural scattered light.

The path is an important part of the museum. It is designed to pick up the movement of people along the street and get them into the exhibition halls of the museum. The museum becomes part of the street space, as well as the city as a whole.