In 1938 Benito Mussolini built a protective building for the Altar, as it had been reconstructed by Vittorio Ballio Morpurgo, near the Mausoleum of Augustus (moving the Altar in the process) as part of his attempt to glorify Fascist Italy. A new cover building, designed by American architect Richard Meier, now stands on the same site as Mussolini's. The new building opened in 2006 to controversy. Modifications are planned to reroute a busy road so that the large travertine wall is no longer needed to block the noise of the traffic; a a wide pedestrian area will be built along the river and the road (Lungotevere in August) will run underneath it. A predominating feature of the new building is a glass curtain wall measuring 150 feet long and 40 feet high. There is space for other exhibits, an auditorium and a rooftop terrace with cafe.
"The Ara Pacis (Altar of Peace, a sacrificial altar dating to 9 B.C.E.) has been under protective covering until 2000 and now replaced in a new museum complex designed by Richard Meier. Located at the Piazza Augusto Imperatore overlooking the Tiber River, the museum is the first major civic building completed in the historic center of Rome since the 1930s. The building is built with the expansive use of glass, concrete and repeated grids. Although housing and protecting the ancient altar was the main focus of this museum, it also houses public exhibition and installation areas and a small auditorium as well as a digital library of Augustan culture." - Submitted by Kay Bea Jones.
Keywords: Italy, Roma, Rome, Ara Pacis Augustae, exhibition spaces, exhibition building, museum, building divisions, rooms and spaces, entrance space.