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Museum Buildings : Architecture

Major Architecture Projects – designs from around the world

post updated 4 October 2021

Museum building designs

Museum Buildings

We’ve selected key examples of Museum Buildings. We try to include buildings and new building designs that have a strong design intent. The focus is on contemporary buildings from across the world.

We have 6 pages of Museum Buildings selections.

Museum Buildings : news + key projects (this page)

Museum Architecture : A-F

Contemporary Museum Buildings : G-L

Museum Building Designs : M

Museum Designs : N-R

Museum Architecture Designs : S-Z

Latest Museum Building Designs

Architecture Designs – latest additions to this page, arranged chronologically:

Musée d’art de Joliette, southwest Quebec, Canada
Design: Les architectes FABG
Musée d’art de Joliette
photograph : Steve Montpetit
Art Museum in Joliette – 22 Jul 2016
The Musée d’art de Joliette is recognized as Quebec’s most important regional art museum. While pursuing the objectives of conservation, dissemination and research established over half a century ago by its founders, the Musée continues to expand its permanent collection, which currently comprises some 8,500 works held in four collections.

Marubi National Museum of Photography, Shkodër, Albania
Design: casanova+hernandez architecten
Marubi National Museum of Photography in Shkodër
photograph : Christian Richters
Marubi National Museum of Photography Building in Shkodër – 17 Jul 2016
The new building and its museographic project open a new generation of contemporary museums in Albania, which not only aims to restore and protect the Albanian cultural heritage.

Museum of the History of the Polish Jews, Warsaw, Poland – 8 Oct 2013
Design: Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Architects
Museum of the History of the Polish Jews in Poland
photo : Juha Salminent
The origins of the Museum of the History of the Polish Jews go back to the mid-1990s, when the founding director of Tel Aviv’s Diaspora Museum and the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC, Yeshayahu Weinberg, convened an international working group to plan a new museum dedicated to the history of the Polish Jews.

Pingtan Art Museum, China – 15 Jul 2013
Design: MAD architects
Pingtan Art Museum Building
image from architect
Pingtan is the largest island in the Fujian province. It is expected to become the primary location for trade and cultural communication between Taiwan and the Chinese mainland in the foreseeable future.

Sorø Art Museum, Sjælland, east Denmark
Design: Lundgaard & Tranberg Architects
Sorø Kunstmuseum Building
photo : Jens Lindhe
Sorø Kunstmuseum – 14 Jun 2013

Yad Va’Shem Holocaust Museum, Jerusalem, Israel – new photos
Design: Safdie Architects
Yad Va'Shem Israel Building
photograph © Adrian Welch
Yad Va’Shem Holocaust Museum – 13 May 2013
The rebuilding of this museum includes a new visitors’ center, a new history museum replacing the existing museum constructed in 1953, a Hall of Names, a synagogue, galleries for Holocaust art, an exhibitions pavilion and a learning and visual center. The program quadruples the permanent exhibition space.

Museum of Handcraft Paper, Gaoligong, China
Design: Trace Architecture Office
Museum of Handcraft Paper China
photo : AKAA
Museum of Handcraft Paper – 1 May 2013
The museum building is located close to a village at the foot of Gaoligong Mountain, in the province of Yunnan, an area of significant Muslim presence. It provides exhibition space for ancient paper craft and artefacts produced locally.

Design Museum Holon, Tel Aviv, Israel – review + photos by e-architect editor Adrian Welch
Design: Ron Arad
Design Museum Holon
image © DMH
Design Museum Holon – 13 May 2013
The building shows exhibitions about Israeli design, and on our visit was showing bathing suits and related designs. The structure is located on the edge of the traditional city centre, in a cultural quarter which is yet to complete.

Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel
Design: various architects
Israel Museum Building
photo : Cecilia Koren
Israel Museum – 13 May 2013
The Israel Museum opened in 1965, in a Modernist complex nestled on the Judean Hills near The Knesset – the national parliament building – and the Hebrew University. Since that time, it has become the most eminent cultural institution in the region and one of the leading art and archaeology museums in the world, with collections growing exponentially over the past four decades.

UC Davis Art Museum, California, USA
Design: SO – IL
UC Davis Art Museum Sacramento
image from architect
UC Davis Art Museum – 2 May 2013
The new Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art at the University of California, Davis, will be created by a team intent on redefining the university museum and fostering a new conversation in the arts.

National Maritime Museum Tianjin, north east China
Design: HAO + AI
National Maritime Museum China
image from architect
National Maritime Museum Tianjin – 19 Apr 2013
The proposal for the new National Maritime Museum is situated in Northern China, outside the city of Tianjin. The museum is designed to house both new and old maritime items with a focus on celebrating the historical achievements of Chinese naval exploration through out time.

China Wood Sculpture Museum, Harbin, northern China
Design: MAD Architects
China Wood Sculpture Museum
photo : Iwan Baan
China Wood Sculpture Museum Building – 10 Apr 2013
MAD Architects unveiled the completed China Wood Sculpture Museum located in Harbin, China. The 200-meter long building, sheathed in metal, sits nestled in a densely residential area, adding a cultural and surreal essence to the surrounding urban context.

Sogn & Fjordane Art Museum, Førde, Norway
C. F. Møller
Sogn & Fjordane Art Museum Building
picture : Oddleiv Apneseth
Sogn & Fjordane Art Museum – 19 Sep 2012
The small Norwegian town of Førde draws its qualities from its interaction with the surrounding mountains, which are visible everywhere, and from Jostedalsbreen, the largest glacier on the European mainland, which lies in close proximity to the town. The town’s new museum, Sogn & Fjordane Kunstmuseum also draws upon the distinctive landscape for its architectural expression: the museum building lies like a crystal-clear block of ice that has slid down from the surrounding mountains.

Žanis Lipke Memorial Museum, Latvia
Žanis Lipke Latvia Building
picture : Ansis Starks
Žanis Lipke Memorial Museum – 13 Aug 2012
During the occupation of Latvia by Nazi Germany (1941–1945) more than 60 000 Jews were murdered in concentration camps. Despite some odious figures of Latvian antisemites, other Latvians stood against the Nazi antisemitic policies and tried to save local Jews from execution.

Samaranch Memorial Museum, Tianjin, China
Architect: HAO – Holm Architecture Office
Samaranch Memorial Museum Tianjin
image from architects
Samaranch Memorial Museum Building – 13 Aug 2012
The HAO / Holm Architecture Office + Archiland Beijing design for the Samaranch Memorial Museum in Tianjin, China is under construction. After adjusting the design of the competition scheme, the building construction is well under way.

Maritime Xperiential Museum, Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore
Michael Graves & Associates
Maritime Xperiential Museum
photo Courtesy of Michael Graves Associates
Maritime Xperiential Museum – 10 Jul 2012
International architects and designers, Michael Graves & Associates (MGA) announce the completion of the Maritime Xperiential Museum (MXM) at Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) in Singapore. The project, lead by MGA Studio head Patrick Burke, marks another phase in RWS’s development.

Recent Museum Building Designs

Easter Sculpture Museum, Albacete, Spain
Exit Architects
Easter Sculpture Museum Albacete Salburúa
photograph : Fernando Guerra
Easter Sculpture Museum – added 29 Apr 2012
This building project was the result of an ideas competition organized by the Hellín Municipality. The competition rules considered the refurbishment of the Casa del Conde as well as the construction of an extension on the plot area former occupied by some small service buildings of the house.

Contemporary Art Museum, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
Brooks + Scarpa
CAM Raleigh
picture from architects
Contemporary Art Museum Raleigh – 1 Oct 2011
The Depot District contains Raleigh’s only significant collection of buildings related to the heyday of railroad transportation and shipping in the Capital City. By recycling this important building, CAM preserves an important part of Raleigh’s history and demonstrates its commitment to sustainability and leadership in historic preservation.

Museo de al Memoria de Andalucía, Granada, southern Spain
Alberto Campo Baeza
Andalusia Museum of Memory
photo : Javier Callejas
Andalucía Museum of Memory

Museum Architecture – Major Buildings Selection

Museum Building Designs, alphabetical:

Abu Dhabi Louvre Museum, UAE
Jean Nouvel
Abu Dhabi Louvre Museum
image from architect
Abu Dhabi Louvre Museum

Ara Pacis Museum, Rome, Italy
Richard Meier Architects
Ara Pacis Museum
photograph © Adrian Welch
Ara Pacis Augustae

Bilbao Guggenheim Museum, Spain
Frank Gehry
Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
image from architect
Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

Chengdu Museum, China
Sutherland Hussey
Chengdu Museum Building
image from architect
Chengdu Museum building

The Getty Center, Los Angeles, USA
Richard Meier & Partners
Getty Center Building
photo © Alice McRae
Getty Center Building

Glasgow Transport Museum, Scotland
Zaha Hadid Architects
Glasgow Transport Museum Building
photo © Alice McRae
Glasgow Transport Museum Building

GRAM – Art Museum, USA
Design: wHY architecture
photo : Chris Barrett@Hedrich Blessing
GRAM Michigan

Imperial War Museum North, England
Daniel Libeskind Architects
Imperial War Museum building
photo © Adrian Welch
Imperial War Museum Manchester

Jeongok Prehistory Museum, Korea
Jeongok Prehistory Museum South Korea
photo from architect
Jeongok Prehistory Museum

Jewish Museum building, Berlin, Germany
Daniel Libeskind Architect
Jewish Museum Berlin
photograph © Bitter Bredt
Jewish Museum Berlin

Liangzhu Culture Museum, China
David Chipperfield Architects
Liangzhu Culture Museum Building
photo © Christian Richters
Liangzhu Culture Museum

Literaturmuseum der Moderne, Germany
David Chipperfield Architects
Literaturmuseum der Moderne
photograph © Christian Richters
Museum of Modern Literature, Marbach

Mercedes-Benz Museum, Germany
UN Studio Architects
Mercedes-Benz Museum Building
photo : Christian Richters
Mercedes Museum Stuttgart

Museo Soumaya, Mexico
FREE | Fernando Romero EnterprisE
Museo Soumaya
image from architect
Museo Soumaya

Museum für Kunsthandwerk, Germany
Architect: Richard Meier
Frankfurt museum Building
photo © Adrian Welch
Frankfurt Museum Building

Museum of Contemporary Art, China
Coop Himmelb(l)au
Museum of Contemporary Art Shenzhen
picture : SILKROAD Digital Technology Co. LTD
Shenzhen Museum of Contemporary Art Planning

Museum of Islamic Art, Qatar
I M Pei
Museum of Islamic Art
photo Courtesy of the Museum of Islamic Art
Museum of Islamic Art Building

Museum of Modern Art – MoMA, NY, USA
Yoshio Taniguchi with KPF Architecture
MoMA New York
photo : Andrew McRae
MoMA New York + MoMA Extension

Nanjing Museum, China
Design: Steven Holl Architects
Nanjing Museum Building
picture from architect
Nanjing Museum of Art & Architecture

Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, USA
Design: Steven Holl Architects
Nelson Atkins Museum of Art
image : Andy Ryan
Nelson Atkins Museum of Art Building Extension

Neues Museum Redevelopment, Germany
David Chipperfield Architects
Neues Museum Building
image : David Chipperfield Architects
Neues Museum Building, Berlin

New Acropolis Museum, Athens, Greece
Design: Bernard Tschumi Architect
Acropolis Museum Athens
image : Bernard Tschumi Architects
Acropolis Museum Athens

New Museum of Contemporary Art, USA
SANAA architects
New Museum of Contemporary Art
image from architects
New Museum of Contemporary Art, N.Y.

Porsche Museum, Stuttgart, Germany
Delugan Meissl
Porsche Museum
picture © Delugan Meissl Associated Architects
Porsche Museum Stuttgart Building

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, US
Mario Botta / HOK
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
picture © Andrew McRae
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Smithsonian Museum – Courtyard, USA
Foster & Partners
Smithsonian Institute
picture : Nigel Young / Foster + Partners
Smithsonian Institute Building

More Museum Architecture projects online soon

Museums in the 21st Century Exhibition Munich – museum designs by key architects
BMW museum building
BMW Museum – photo : Marcus Buck, Munich

English Museum Buildings

Whitney Museum Building

Guggenheim Museum New York

Porsche Museum

Comments / photos for the Contemporary Museum Architecture page welcome