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Title: The MAXXI Building in Rome with the Long, Inclined and Curvilinear Reinforced Concrete Walls after 18 Years from their Construction

Author(s): Mario Collepardi, Silvia Collepardi, Giuseppe Marchese and Roberto Troli

Publication: Symposium Paper

Volume: 354


Appears on pages(s): 329-338

Keywords: expansive agent; self-compacting concrete; self-curing concrete; self-compressing concrete; shrinkage-reducing admixture; superplasticizer; viscosity modifier

DOI: 10.14359/51736085

Date: 7/1/2022

A special concrete was used to erect the MAXXI building in Rome designed by Zaha Hadid and her team with long, inclined, curvilinear walls. Due to the very congested reinforcements, the original concrete issued by Zaha Hadid and her team was self-compacting concrete (SCC). However, irregular cracks -caused by the restrained drying shrinkage- appeared on the surface of this concrete a few days after removing the formworks. On the other hand, due to aesthetic reasons, neither saw cuts in the hardened concrete to produce regular contraction joints -carried out to avoid the irregular cracks caused by a restrained drying shrinkage- were accepted by the Architects. Therefore, a special 3-SC mixture was developed and used; it is characterized to be: - a self-compacting concrete based on the use of an acrylic superplasticizer, a viscosity modifier to avoid the bleeding risk, and a special particle size distribution of the aggregates; - a self-compressive concrete due to the use of a CaO-based expansive agent; - a self-curing concrete based on the use of a shrinkage-reducing admixture (SRA). This concrete called 3-SC, because it is 3 times “self”, was very successful in producing a crack-free concrete surface even in the very long, curvilinear, and inclined walls: after 18 years of building the long, inclined, curvilinear walls of the MAXXI museum have been carefully examined and during the last inspection their surface resulted to be still sound and crack-free. However, just before the building’s inauguration in 2009, in very few areas some micro-cracks were observed on the concrete surface and considered to be dangerous for the future of the building. Therefore, the concrete surface was treated with a transparent varnish in order to avoid the ingress of the aggressive humid air to protect the steel reinforcements from the corrosion promoted by the carbonation process.