Dezeen Magazine

Dezeen's top 10 museums and galleries of 2019

Continuing our review of the yearSemi Han picks out the top 10 museums and galleries that welcomed their first visitors in 2019.

Dezeen’s top 10 museums and galleries of 2019

National Museum of Qatar, Doha, Qatar, by Atelier Jean Nouvel

Atelier Jean Nouvel used colliding white discs to create the distinct exterior of National Museum of Qatar. After almost 10 years in the making, the landmark building opened in March.

The museum surrounds an early 20th-century palace, which is also part of the visitor experience. Inside, a mile-long elliptical path follows the chronological history of Qatar, from its prehistoric beginnings to the present day.

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Dezeen’s top 10 museums and galleries of 2019

The Twist, Kistefos, Norway, by BIG

Bjarke Ingels designed this art gallery, which doubles as a bridge, using staggered aluminium panels to clad its name-sake twisting form.

The Twist's sculptural aesthetic is meant to reflect the uneven river-bank topography and the artworks of the Kistefos sculpture park next door.

Visitors enter the gallery through the windowless south entrance and walk over the river to the spaces that are glazed from floor to ceiling.

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Dezeen’s top 10 museums and galleries of 2019

Odunpazari Modern Museum, Eskisehir, Turkey, by Kengo Kuma and Associates

Interlocking, cross-laminated timber beams on the exterior of the Odunpazari Modern Museum allude to the town's history of timber trading. A skylight atrium runs through all three storeys at the point where the four volumes of the building meet.

The museum, which opened in September, houses items from Tabanca's 1,000-piece collection of modern art and hosts temporary exhibitions.

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Dezeen’s top 10 museums and galleries of 2019

Aranya Art Center, Qinhuangdao, China, by Neri&Hu

Neri&Hu designed the Aranya Art Center for the Gold Coast seaside resort in China. A patterned exterior is formed from  modular faceted concrete blocks, some of which have openings to let light inside.

This material features throughout the interiors, including in the five gallery spaces that centre around a conical void finished in smooth concrete.

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Dezeen’s top 10 museums and galleries of 2019


Bauhaus Museum Dessau, Dessau, Germany, by Addenda Architects

2019 marked 100 years since the Bauhaus school of architecture was founded. This museum its at the centre of Dessau, where the influential school was based between 1925-1932.

Addenda Architects designed an open plan main exhibition place on the ground floor. A black, enclosed space is elevated above the space, where inside visitors can see more delicate items from the movement.

Another museum for the Bauhaus opened in Weimar this year.

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Dezeen’s top 10 museums and galleries of 2019

The Shed, New York, USA, by Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Rockwell Group

The Shed is an eight-storey museum in New York's Hudson Yards development. Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Rockwell Group, the museum's translucent polymer-clad roof is can be moved to shelter a space that almost doubles the building's size.

A sled drive pushes the U-shaped steel frame along a pair of 80-metre-long rails, so the venue can transform depending on the requirements of different artists using the space.

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Dezeen’s top 10 museums and galleries of 2019

Zhejiang Museum of Natural History, Zhejiang, China, by David Chipperfield Architects

The monolithic red exhibition halls of Zhejiang Museum of National History in the Anji county opened earlier this year. Designed by David Chipperfield Architects, the eight single-storey pavilions are built into the landscape and coloured in ochre to match the local clay.

The project's monumentality, said the studio, signifies the large number of visitors and grand scale of exhibitions to come.

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Dezeen’s top 10 museums and galleries of 2019

Jishou Art Museum, Jishou, China, by Atelier FCJZ

As with the The Twist earlier on our list, Jishou Art Museum in China is a bridge that is also an art gallery. Spanning the Wanrong river, Atelier FCJZ designed the museum to provide an accessible pedestrian route through central parts of the city.

Two bridge structures are stacked atop each other to create the building. Visitors walk through the upper level of exhibition space to cross the bridge, as they browse the artworks whilst passing through.

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Windermere Jetty Museum by Carmody Groarke

Windermere Jetty museum, the Lake District, England, by Carmody Groarke

A display of significant motorboats, steam boats and yachts are displayed inside a cluster of gabled hangers clad in dark copper on the shore of Windermere lake in the UK.

Carmody Groake designed the museum to be as close to the water as possible, and included a huge dry dock that allows boats to be sailed up and in to the museum for display.

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Dezeen’s top 10 museums and galleries of 2019

Ruby City, Texas, USA, by Adjaye Associates

Another red museum is David Adjaye's Ruby City, a contemporary art centre that gets its monochromatic exterior from crimson-coloured concrete panels. Specks of glass and mica were mixed into the concrete, so that Ruby City glistens when it catches the light.

The museum houses over 800 artworks for US-charity Linda Pace Foundation across two storeys, including pieces by Olafur Eliasson and Antony Gormley.

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