Ten museums of striking architecture in the world
Museums are some of the most representative constructions of modern cities. They not only exhibit symbols of identity, culture, or collective values but have also become icons within the urban landscape.
The aesthetics that characterize these enclosures have been forming since the early twentieth century. The so-called futuristic architecture has come to want to awaken the cultural apathy, history, the cult of the ancient and the art of other eras of humanity through the avant-garde in their buildings, which have as main features the use of materials such as iron, glass, and wood in their structures, which allows better retention of natural light and the use of space.
It is essential to highlight that the design of many of these works was inspired by different elements of nature, which has made their beauty stand out in the most important cities of the world.
Here are the ten most emblematic museums globally, considering their functionality, space, and aesthetics.
- BMW Museum
The firm of architects and exhibition designers Atelier Brückner was commissioned to design the new BMW Museum, which required restoration work on the roof of the building that housed the previous museum and the expansion of spaces and improvement of technical aspects. The planning of the museum of this luxury automobile firm began in 2002, and the completion of the building was completed in 2008. Inspired by a new idea of the architect Karl Schwanzer, the creator of the original museum in 1973 included the principle of dynamic architecture, which would allow it to be integrated into historic buildings and thus set a benchmark between engineering and design in a contemporary and modern way, to develop this project. This space features objects, including automobiles, motorcycles, aircraft engines, and racing engines.
- Louvre Museum
Considered one of the most visited and largest museums globally, it receives almost 10 million people every year. Already an icon of central Paris since the late 12th century, it has undergone several metamorphoses, its original structure gradually being swallowed up as the city grew. The glass pyramid, built by the Chinese-American architect I. M. Pei, was inaugurated in the late 12th century. M. Pei was inaugurated on March 30, 1989. From there, visitors can reach the temporary exhibition areas, exhibits on the history of the palace and museum, an auditorium, and public facilities (bookstore, cafeteria, restaurant).
Milwaukee Art Museum
Wisconsin, United States
Comprised of three buildings, each designed by a legendary architect, the Milwaukee Art Museum is considered an architectural landmark. With an extension of 341 thousand square feet, it is composed of the War Memorial Center (1957) designed by the Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen, the Kahler Building (1975) by David Kahler, and the Quadracci Pavilion (2001), created by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. It receives about 400,000 visitors every year and houses 30,000 works of art from antiquity to sculpture, engravings, drawings, decorative arts, photographs, and popular art. Its structure incorporates cutting-edge technology and old-world craftsmanship. As a result, it is a building that could only have been built in a city with a strong tradition of craftsmanship, such as Milwaukee.
- Biosphere, Environment Museum
This building was the symbol of Expo 67, a fair that welcomed no less than 11 million visitors in six months. The sphere designed by the visionary architect Buckminster Fuller has an important place in the history of contemporary architecture. For, since 1995, the biosphere has been a site dedicated to environmental action and education. With more than 15 years of activities as a museum, it has also focused on environmental outreach activities.
- Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
An excellent example of 20th-century avant-garde architecture is this museum designed by the American architect Frank Gehry, winner of the most prestigious award given to an architect's career, the 1989 Pritzker Prize. The construction of this project took place from October 1993 to October 1997. Due to the mathematical complexity of its curvilinear forms and advanced software used in the aerospace industry. In this space of 24 thousand m2 of surface, the concept is reliably transferred to the structure, thus facilitating construction. It was located in a curve of an old dock of port and industrial use to achieve the city's redevelopment with 20 galleries in which pieces of artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Eduardo Chillida, Yves Klein, Fujiko Nakaya, among others, are exhibited. Today it is considered an icon of the city.
- Zentrum Paul Klee Museum
Inspired by the life and work of the German painter Paul Klee, this precinct was inaugurated in 2005. It houses the most extensive collection of this artist, considered one of the most important painters of the twentieth century. It was designed by the winner of the Pritzker Prize in 1998 and the Gold Medal awarded by the International Union of Architects in 2002, the Italian architect Renzo Piano. Combining nature and architecture resulted in this work, in which aesthetics and functionality are the protagonists because, as Klee stated, it is through art, colors, and trends that sculpture is related to landscape architecture. A series of three hills as a backdrop inspired Renzo and gave identity to the building, which is already an emblem for its unique wavy line. Each of these represents its functionality. The north hill is where lectures and workshops are held, the center is where the collections and temporary exhibitions are presented, while the south hill is part of the administration, and these three hills are part of the main façade.
- Louis Vuitton Foundation
A space designed to house contemporary French artistic creation, the building for the Louis Vuitton Foundation was commissioned by Bernard Arnault, president of the LVMH emporium, to architect Frank Gehry. He is also a Pritzker Prize winner. Inaugurated in October 2014, this avant-garde building offers panoramic views of the city of lights and the greenery of the Jardin d'Acclimatation from its terraces.
- Pompidou Centre
The Pompidou Centre is a light and bright building next to the Metz train station with a solid and elegant structure. It comprises a large hexagonal structure that houses three galleries that cross the building, a central spire that reaches 77 meters, alluding to the opening date in 1977, of the original Centre Pompidou, then designed by architects Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers. Inside there is plenty of natural light, where visitors can enjoy this space as an extension of the exterior through the glass facades. This center houses the IRCAM, a musical and acoustic research center; the library (Bibliothèque Publique d'Information) for a capacity of 2 thousand people, as well as the National Museum of Modern Art which has one of the most complete collections of modern art in the world, surpassing even those held by the MoMA in New York, with approximately 100 thousand works of art.
- Kunsthaus Graz
The blue bubble of art. Designed by world-renowned architects Peter Cook and Colin Fournier, the Kunsthaus looms elegantly and mysteriously over the right bank of the River Mur. With its spectacular biomorphic form, it has become a must-see icon on your next trip to the city. Its exhibition spaces attract visitors from all over the world to see contemporary Austrian and international art shows.
- Oscar Niemeyer Museum
This space, built-in about 35 thousand m2, has more than 17 thousand m2 for the exhibition of visual arts, architecture, urbanism, and design, making it the largest in Latin America. The Oscar Niemeyer Museum opened its doors to the public in 2002 and is named after the Brazilian architect who designed the main building in 1967. It has a total of 12 exhibition halls, which have reached 2 million visitors since 2003. In 2001 it ceased to be the headquarters of the state departments and became a new museum. The building underwent adaptations and gained an attached archive, popularly called Eye, for its elongated shape that simulates the silhouette of a humanoid eye.