If you think going to museums is about what's inside, think again. From Shenzhen to Rio de Janeiro, these infinitely Instagrammable museums are here to prove that they are also to be seen as objects of wonder in themselves...
Evident in the name itself, this project is conceived as the synergetic combination of two institutions: the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) and the Planning Exhibition (PE). Made of insulated glass and held by an interwoven network of extruded steel trusses, the museum’s facade provides a perfect cityscape view from the inside while giving visitors the impression of being in a shaded outdoor room. Additionally, the museum puts sustainability at the forefront of its design: the roof of the building is fitted with solar thermal collectors, which generate power for absorption chillers during the summer and floor heating systems during the winter. Smart.
Spanning 3.8 hectares across the River Tagus (Rio Tejo), MAAT’s inspiration comes from the rippling of the neighbouring river and is said to be one of Europe’s most stunning new museums. The building was designed by Amanda Levete Architects, and also establishes a connection with the Tejo power station, one of Portugal’s most prominent examples of industrial architecture from the early 20th century. Visit this beautiful architectural structure at sunset to see it at its best 😍.
The Museum of Islamic Art, Doha
We all know I.M. Pei for the Louvre Pyramid, but his work for the Museum of Islamic Art is just as beautiful. Declining all proposed sites for the museum, Pei suggested the structure to be built off an artificial peninsula near the traditional dhow harbour to avoid encroachments by other buildings in the future. To emphasise the various shades during the different times of the day, Pei has chosen the structure to be built of fine materials, such as cream-coloured Magny and Chamesson limestone. The main building, which consists of five floors, also provides a breathtaking panoramic view of the Persian gulf.
LACMA, Los Angeles
Centrally located between the beach and downtown Los Angeles, LACMA features artwork from all over the world. But did you also know that it also ranks as one of the world's most Instagrammed museums? That is largely due to the cultural status of Urban Light, a large-scale assemblage sculpture by Chris Burden consisting of restored street lamps from the 1920s and 1930s - most of which once lit the streets of Southern California. And if you're wondering where you've seen this sculpture in films, then it is most likely from either of these two romantic comedies: No Strings Attached or Valentine's Day.
The Niterói Contemporary Art Museum, Rio de Janeiro
The Niterói Contemporary Art Museum, also known as the MAC, was designed by the famed Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer and completed in 1996. This iconic saucer-shaped structure, situated on a cliffside above Guanabara bay in the city of Niterói, brilliantly frames the panoramic views of the city of Rio de Janeiro and encapsulates the simple, yet brilliant signature aesthetic of Niemeyer.