‘Real museums are places where Time is transformed into Space.’

Rethinking The Future Awards 2022

Architecture is a splendid tool that creates mesmerizing museum spaces that not only capture timeless masterpieces but also one’s attention. All museum spaces hold a diverse collection, and a unique character in themselves, and a pleasing building design only adds more to the lasting effect the structures have on the observer’s mind. It is this quality and thought process behind the ’s concepts that make some of these exhibition spaces stand out.

Here are the 10 innovative museums around the world:

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1. GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM, BILBAO, SPAIN

Recognized amongst Architect Frank O. Gehry’s masterpieces, the Guggenheim in Spain strongly portrays Deconstructivism, with its irregular shape and shining titanium façade. Sitting by the coastline, the museum is defined by extravagant steel frames and large glass walls that integrate the indoor spaces with the natural landscape of the location. The twisting organic design which creates reflections takes the user-experience to a whole new level.

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Evening at the Guggenheim©www.fineartamerica.com
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Indoor atrium space ©www.guggenheim-bilbao.eus
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Looking through the glass ©www.flickr.com
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The Guggenheim museum ©www.guggenheim-bilbao.eus

2. ZEITZ MOCAA, CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA

This ground-breaking design came out as a refurbishment of a grain silo. By literally hollowing out the spaces, Heatherwick Studios created excellent acoustical spots that define the whole theme of the museum. The building sets the example of generating new, from the old, wherein the existing structure is still preserved, and further enhanced with a touch of the latest technology and architecture.

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Cutting through the silos ©httpwww.heatherwick.com
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Different levels inside©www.recentspaces.com
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Looking up the atrium ©www.domusweb.it
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The Zeitz Mocaa in Cape Town ©www.capetownetc.com

3. NITEROI CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM, RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL

Erupting out of the water, like a flower, this white-colored building by Architect Oscar Niemeyer houses a restaurant, auditorium, and several exhibition spaces, all connected by a spiral staircase. Approached by a spiral ramp, the building sits on a cliff and lets in all the surrounding views inside through the continuous running band of windows.

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Displays by the windows ©www.wikipedia.org
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‘Like a flower blooming out of water’ ©www.as-coa.org
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Museum with a view ©www.artlog.art50.net
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One of the exhibition halls of the museum ©www.inexhibit.com
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The ramp leading to Niteroi Contemporary Museum ©www.champ-magazine.com

4. LOUIS VUITTON FOUNDATION, PARIS, FRANCE

Architect Frank O. Gehry envisioned a seamless blend of ‘glass and steel’ architecture with a ship in this project. Often referred to as an ‘Iceberg’, the Foundation building contains restaurants, shops, auditoriums, and museum spaces, all enclosed within transparent façade ‘sails’ that tend to reflect different colors of the sun throughout the day.

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Atrium inside the museum ©www.pinterest.com
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Like a ship sailing in water ©www.inexhibit.com
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The Louis Vuitton Foundation building ©www.pinterest.com
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Transparent Facade ©www.globallighting.com

5. ORDOS MUSEUM, ORDOS, CHINA

Inspired by the Gobi Deserts, the building seems to have been simply placed over the site. But once on the inside, the whole perspective changes, with the spaces defined by staggering levels, smoothened corners and curved surfaces illuminated by skylights. MAD Architects concealed this space with a continuous stretch of brown metal louvers, to match the desert backdrop. It is contrasting, yet the appealing blend of interiors and exteriors that make this museum innovative.

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Curves and levels inside_©httpmatthewniederhauser.com
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Glass windows on the facade_©www.sawdust.online
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Sitting over a barren land_©www.archdaily.com
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White interiors of the museum_©www.flickr.com

6. JEWISH MUSEUM, BERLIN, GERMANY

Composed of underground axes, zig-zag pathways and windows, plain-dark hallways, spatial voids, and long corridors lacking any decoration, the building truly projects the ‘Nazi Holocaust’ in the most appropriate way possible. American Architect design the building as a reminder of Jewish History under Nazi Germany and incorporated the same cold-dark atmosphere inside the museum too. The museum not only reflects the plight faced by the Jews but also evokes deep sentiments and emotions, owing to its strong design concept and architecture.

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Aerial View of the Zig Zag planned museum ©www.inexhibit.com
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Interior halls ©www.larryspeck.com
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Lighting inside the holocaust tower ©www.gerryco23.wordpress.com
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Narrow staircase of the museum ©www.jmberlin.de
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Narrow staircase of the museum ©www.jmberlin.de
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Serene corridors of the museum ©www.pinterest.com

7. ART GALLERY OF ALBERTA EDMONTON, CANADA

The sleek-curved skin that wraps around the gallery place was actually inspired by the Northern Lights in the sky. Designed by Randall Stout Architects, the Gallery space features theatres, restaurants, dining terraces, and numerous exhibition spaces. All the spaces are laminated by natural lights that change colors throughout the day when reflected by the glass façade. One of the most prominent ‘Green’ buildings in Canada, the museum design itself was a break-through in terms of incorporating regional references with modernized materials.

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Art Gallery of Alberta ©www.soprema.ca
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Dining terraces on the museum ©www.azahner.com
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Public space inside ©www.youraga.ca
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Side elevation of the museum building ©www.azahner.com

8. ROYAL ONTARIO MUSEUM, ONTARIO, CANADA

The ‘Crystal’ Building was designed as an addition to the existing historic structure next to it. This modernized museum building by Daniel Libeskind is developed as an interlocking, self-supporting structure, with all the five ‘crystals’ containing no right angles at all. This challenging structure today is the most visited tourist museum in the country, which itself is an ‘artifact’ in addition to the ones housed inside it.

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Connecting bridges inside the museum ©www.flickr.com
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New against the old ©www.libeskind.com
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Openings inside the museum ©www.flickr.com
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The crystals emerging out ©www.libeskind.com
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The Royal Ontario Museum, Canada ©www.robertharding.com

9. MESSNER MOUNTAIN MUSEUM, SOUTH TYROL, ITALY

Perched atop a mountain, this Museum building, by Late Architect Zaha Hadid literally peeks out of the surface. Owing to its topography, the building is approached by a steep, tedious climb along the cliff; which is rewarded by calming views from all the directions once inside the museum. The visitor is then moved along the passages inside the museum, and the visit concludes with climbing down the cliff while viewing the exhibits.

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Descending gallery spaces inside the museum ©www.messner-mountain-museum.it
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Hanging out by the cliff ©www.pinterest.com
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The Messner Mountain Museum ©www.pinterest.com
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Views of the cliffs ©www.italianways.com

10. THE QUADRACCI PAVILION, MILWAUKEE, U.S.A

Recognized by its signature ‘wings’, the Quadracci Pavilion by Santiago Calatrava is a part of Milwaukee Art Museum and houses an exhibition hall, auditorium, and cafeterias. Both cutting-edge technology and old-world craftsmanship went into creating the graceful building, which was made largely by pouring concrete into one-of-a-kind wooden forms, with a moveable sun-screen. It is these climates responsive and out of the box techniques, that make the whole museum an example of innovation mixed with architecture.

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Indoor lobby of the museum ©www.fineartamerica.com
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Milwaukee Art Museum ©calatrava.com
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The Quadracci Pavilion ©www.mam.org
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Visitor galleries ©www.britannica.com
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Wings of the museum ©www.pinterest.com
Author

Sandhya is a connoisseur of art, a performing Bharatnatyam artist, with a passion for architecture. An avid reader and an admirer of books, she believes writing to be a fascinating manner of adding value to anything. With a curious mind, and an ecstatic soul, Sandhya loves to find the joy amidst the smallest things. 

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Rethinking The Future Awards 2022