From Paris to Seville, these stunning museum buildings are a must-see for architecture buffs and culture enthusiasts alike.
As a cultural facility dedicated to the heritage of wine, is pretty much a vino lover’s dream. But the building itself is pretty impressive, too. Set right on the banks of the Garonne River, the design, by Legendre and Nicolas Desmazières from XTU architects, speaks to wine's liquid nature, as reflections of the river bounce off the structure.
Right in the heart of the Arts District in downtown Edmonton, the stands out for its unique design. Inspired by the city’s environment, architect juxtaposed angular windows against a winding steel ribbon to reference the forms of the North Saskatchewan River and Aurora Borealis.
The bold lotus-shaped design of Singapore’s is an embodiment of its mission. With 21 gallery spaces across three floors, it’s the ultimate destination to discover how art, science, technology and culture shape our society.
For his design of the , 2014 Pritzker Prize–winning Architect Shigeru Ban sought to create harmony between Aspen’s existing architecture and the surrounding landscape. Not only does the 33,000 square-foot building highlight the best in international contemporary art, the structure is also environmentally sustainable.
With more than 6,500 works, the of modern art, contemporary art and Art Brut (works made outside the academic tradition of art) remains an iconic building in France. Originally designed by Roland Simounet in 1983, these beautifully perforated snaking galleries by Manuelle Gautrand were added in 2010 to accommodate the museum’s Art Brut collection.
While the museum is dedicated to contemporary art exhibitions, the is an in itself. The 3,600 panels that form the building’s 12 sails are made from glass curved to the nearest millimeter. Renowned architect Frank Gehry’s bold vision makes for a striking view.
With impressive interweaving timber structures that sprout up like mushrooms, the stands as one of Seville’s most fascinating cultural destinations. Additionally, the building by German architect Jürgen Mayer offers an archaeological museum, a farmers market, an elevated plaza, bars and restaurants underneath and inside the parasols.
Even more impressive than the ’s collection of art — the facility contains more than 30,000 works — is the building’s Quadracci Pavilion, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. From a cathedral-like space with a vaulted 90-foot-high glass ceiling to a moveable sunscreen that unfolds and folds twice daily, the building is a true sight to behold.
Germany’s seeks to challenge visitors’ perspectives on war and violence. So it’s fitting that the building’s design is just as thought-provoking. The new extension completed by U.S. architect Daniel Libeskind in 2011 is shaped like a wedge, cutting through the old arsenal. The play of light and shade produced by the new wedge is meant to symbolize the eventful military history of Germany.
Located in the lovely Golden Gate Park, the is not only an architectural beauty, but also in tune with nature. An estimated 1.7 million plants fill the trays atop the building’s , which also serves as a habitat for birds, butterflies and other local wildlife.
The distinctive curvilinear structure of the has a unique connection to nature. Resembling a wind-sculpted rock formation, the makes specific celestial references that reflect the Native universe — the main entrance faces to the east while the dome opens up to the sky.
The is like something from another world. The architects of MAD chose to wrap the structure in polished metal, serving as a protection from harsh winters and frequent sand storms. But it also serves a metaphorical purpose: protecting the culture and history of the city.
The ’s , added on to the original structure in 2007, stands as a symbol of Toronto for the 21st century. Architect Daniel Libeskind’s design is composed of five interlocking prismatic structures, inspired by the museum’s gem and mineral collection.
Salvador Dali was known for some pretty astounding and unusual art during his time, so it’s no surprise the building dedicated to his work is equally brilliant. Designed by architect Yann Weymouth of HOK, the features a large geodesic glass bubble known as the “” erupts from a simple rectangle, celebrating both the rational and fantastical.
Also known as the MAC, the four-story took a total of five years to build before it was completed in 1996. Designed by famed Brazilian architect Oscar Niemayer, with help from structural engineer Bruno Contarini, the iconic saucer-like structure features a collection of more than 1,500 works.
It’s quite fitting that the building of the was inspired by the circulating currents of a whirpool. As visitors step inside the lobby, they begin at the vortex of the whirlpool-design, ultimately making their way through the spiral toward the 53 aquariums and installations beyond.
Set in an extraordinary structure of metal and glass, the ’ bold design is in line with its mission. The museum seeks to explore the story of mankind and the history of life around the world by interpreting subjects of anthropology, ethnology and the natural sciences.
Also called the National Museum of the 21st Century Arts, Rome’s the is dedicated to showcasing contemporary works of art and architecture. An architectural work itself, the building was designed by Zaha Hadid, whose among 273 candidates for the project by the Ministry for Cultural Heritage.
The building of the remains an iconic feature of the Doha landscape. The by Pritzker Prize-winning architect I.M. Pei is topped by a high domed atrium, which features an oculus at the top to capture and reflect patterned light within the dome.
Another beauty from Frank Gehry, the is his only work in Latin America and the tropics. The tells the story of how the isthmus of Panama rose from the sea, uniting two continents, separating an ocean in two, and transforming the planet’s biodiversity.