11 Simply Amazing Museum Interiors
These high-design museums invite visitors to get lost within their walls.
Editor’s Note: This story was originally published on January 20, 2017 and has been updated to reflect more recent museum coverage.
The Natural History Museum, recently re-opened after a several year-long renovation by Atelier Brückner. Many elements of the historic building, like its high windows that connect the interior to the outdoors and allow natural light to flood through the interior, remain from its original form. Read more.
2. Museum of Tolerance Los Angeles by Yazdani Studio
The Claudia and Nelson Peltz Social Lab, a new 10,000-square-foot gallery, brings the Museum of Tolerance firmly into the 21st century though interactive methodologies, both high-tech and low. Read more.
In 2019, the historically significant Jacob van Horne Municipal Museum in Weert, Netherlands, closed for an overhaul, not just in name but also appearance, inside and out—a commission masterminded by Dutch designer Maurice Mentjens. Read more.
4. Museum of the Future by Killa Design and Buro Happold
Opened on February 22, 2022, a date selected for its palindromic nature, the 250-foot-tall, 323,000-square-foot structure—a highly complex ovoid form with a hole in the middle, wrapped in a skin of curved stainless-steel and GFRP panels—looks something like a spacecraft dropped into the city’s financial district. Read more.
5. Lisbon Archaeological Museum by Atelier Brückner
Want to brush up on your Visigoth artifacts? Stuttgart-based scenography experts Atelier Brückner has made that easier with its innovative and immersive redesign of Archaeology in Lisbon: The Núcleo Arqueológico da Rua dos Correeiros. Read more.
6. Hongkun Museum of Fine Arts by PeNDa
The Hongkun Museum of Fine Arts by PeNDA is defined by an intricate system of arches and counter-arches, references to the mountains and valleys in the museum’s landscape paintings and the ancient caves on which stories about people, events, and traditions were once painted. While complex curves encircle the entry, staircases, and cloakroom, the art hangs in standard, rectilinear exhibition spaces. Read more.
7. International Wine & Spirits Museum by Shanghai Godolphin
In their design for the International Wine & Spirits Museum in Shanghai, China, the architects at Shanghai Godolphin embraced the history of a vaulted, 32,000-square-foot venue. The concrete structure is softened by a sculptural swoosh made with crates that once contained bottles of Château Malmaison. Read more.
8. “Van Cleef & Arpels: The Art and Science of Gems” Exhibition at the ArtScience Museum by Jouin Manku
Visitors at the ArtScience Museum in Singapore can admire 450 historic pieces and 250 mineral specimens from France’s Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle in a transformative exhibition designed by Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku of Jouin Manku. Spread over nine galleries, the exhibition features cascading lengths of cotton lit to create an impression of traveling through space. Read more.
9. Museum of Tomorrow by Santiago Calatrava
Featuring massive pergola-like cantilevers, adjustable solar panels, and science-oriented exhibits, the museum will help revitalize its neighborhood, Porto Maravilha. Read more.
10. The Centre d’Art Diane-Dufresne by ACDF Architecture
Named after singer, actress, and painter Diane Dufresne, the Centre d’Art Diane-Dufresne has diverse aspirations. The museum is part of a master plan to activate an underutilized park in Repentigny, thereby transforming the Montreal suburb into a cultural destination. Read more.
11. The Michal and Renata Hornstein Pavilion for Peace at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts by Atelier TAG and Jodoin Lamarre Pratte Architects
Part of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the 4,958-square-foot Pavilion for Peace in Montreal is home to the museum’s international art collection. The wood-clad lobby features an “event-stair” centerpiece, which functions as a hub for social activity. Read more.