MACRO - Rome’s Museum of Contemporary Art - is a museum complex that encompasses two sites: the old Peroni (beer) factory, and the two buildings that once comprised the old slaughterhouse in Testaccio.
The MACRO - Rome's Museum of Contemporary Art - came into existence due to the reorganisation of the structures on the Capitoline devoted to the promotion of contemporary art. It is spread over two sites. The first is the old Peroni factory, which, until 1971, was in active production for the Peroni Beer Society . It was designed at the beginning of the twentieth century by Gustavo Giovannoni and is one of the few examples of industrial archaeology in the capital.
The first phase of the reconstruction and conversion of the site finished in 1999. It involved the recovery of the main building, which is composed of two parallel factory units, connected by a construction which corresponds to the front facade. The work was finished as part of Odile Decq's Sensual Territories project, following an international competition held by the Municipality of Rome in 2000.
The other site is split across two pavilions in the building complex of the old slaughterhouse in Testaccio, which was built between 1888 and 1891 to a design by the architect Gioacchino Erosch.
The old slaughterhouse complex is a lively area for cultural displays and artistic events. MACRO Testaccio in the slaughterhouse is situated in Testaccio, an area not far from the banks of the Tiber, in a perfect place for cultural experimentation.
The pavilions of the slaughterhouse were built between 1888 and 1891 by Giacchino Erosch, and bear witness to the transition from classicism to modernity, providing an important historical example of the monumental and rational nature of industrial architecture at the end of the century. For many years, the Slaughterhouse was considered to be among the most important of industrial buildings, because of its modernity and the simplicity of its structure and internal organisation.
In 2002, two pavilions inside the slaughterhouse complex, an area of 105,000 sq metres (of which 43,000 are built on), were assigned to MACRO to aid the development and diffusion of contemporary art.
In keeping with Testaccio's dynamic atmosphere, and the youthful crowds that throng there in the evenings, MACRO Testaccio, is open from 16.00 to midnight. The dimensions and layout of the space make it a particularly suitable setting for some of the most significant works of national and international art, which today are redesigning the 'territory' of visual culture and of the interaction between different languages.
MACRO is in action and is preparing itself to be, for a vast and diverse public, a cultural magnet of many facets and dimensions through which the value of contemporary artistic expression is affirmed.