We go to museums to see the very best examples of human creativity and expression, with museums all over the globe holding artworks, artifacts, and important items to amaze and inspire their guests. But some museums, especially in the modern era, could almost be described as artworks themselves, featuring truly extraordinary architecture and design elements that blow visitors away before they’ve even stepped through the doors. The following five museums feature beautiful, dazzling design elements that are just as interesting and inspiring as the works on display inside.
Louvre Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates
It’s fair to say that the United Arab Emirates is becoming famous all over the globe for its fantastic design and architecture, with some of the world’s most impressive buildings being made in cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The Louvre Abu Dhabi is another terrific example of what this nation’s vast wealth and talents can be capable of.
When we think of the Louvre, we think of Paris, but the Louvre Abu Dhabi is making a strong claim to change that impression. Built on the little island of Saadiyat by Jean Nouvel, the museum is made up of 55 buildings, shielded by a stunning dome with an intricate, lace-like pattern.
Victoria & Albert Museum in Scotland
Commonly referred to as the V & A, the Victoria & Albert Museum in Dundee, Scotland, instantly catches the eye with its one of a kind, layered design. It was created by Japanese architect, Kengo Kuma, who took his inspiration from the local scenery and cliffs.
Sitting beside the shimmering blue waters of the River Tay, the museum almost looks like a gigantic metal ship and effectively pays homage to the city’s shipbuilding past, with its enormous size and bold, powerful structure a sign of the importance of art and culture to the people of Dundee.
Guggenheim Bilbao in Spain
A breath-taking work of art that contributes so much to the Bilbao city skyline, the Guggenheim Bilbao ebbs and flows in a fantastical, wave-like pattern of reflective silvery titanium, seemingly comprised of multiple structures all balanced together in a delicate display.
No matter what time of day you happen to be visiting or passing by this museum, it’s extraordinary structure, designed by American architect Frank Gehry, stands out from the crowd. It opened up back in the late 1990s but is still just as influential and impressive as many more recent designs.
Oscar Niemeyer Museum
Oscar Niemeyer is one of the leading architects to come from the beautiful South American nation of Brazil, and for his very own museum, designed when he was 95 years old, he really showed off all of his talents and experience, crafting something truly otherworldly.
The Oscar Niemeyer Museum looks like something from a sci-fi trance, with a vast, curved, sculptural annex seeming to teeter like a see-saw atop a yellow platform, with a long and winding ramp leading up to its entrance. Inside the museum, visitors can find a fittingly inspiring array of art, architecture, and design elements.
Fondation Louis Vuitton Museum in France
When we think of museums or galleries in Paris, our mind’s are immediately drawn to locations like the Louvre or the Centre Pompidou, but the French capital is also home to the Fondation Louis Vuitton Museum, a beautiful, colorful structure described as “a vessel, a fish, a sailing boat, a cloud” by architecture curator Frédéric Migayrou.
The museum was designed by Frank Gehry, who has been responsible for some of the most imposing and impressive museum structures all over the world. It features curving, twirling panes of glass with brightly colored windows, interspersed with stark steel and timber struts, creating a thoroughly unique aesthetic that needs to be seen to be appreciated in full.