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Ara Pacis Museum

Rome, Italy

Architect: Richard Meier & Partners Architects
Completion: 2006

The Ara Pacis, originally constructed in 9 BC, as an altar to peace, was uncovered in the 16th century. In the 1930s it was moved and housed within a protective shell on the banks of the Tiber River.

At the turn of the 21st century, along with advancements in architectural preservation, the Italian community searched for an architect to reconstruct the container to adequately protect Ara Pacis.Richard Meier was commissioned to create a structure that both supported the monument’s historic and architectural value.

The main challenge was that the structure is transparent and permeable, allowing abundant daylight to illuminate the monument. Lighting for the structure is supplemented during the day and evening hours. Lighting intensity is mechanically regulated to ensure adequate light illuminates the highly crafted and detailed surfaces of the Ara Pacis.