The 10 Best Architecture Museums Worth Traveling the World For
Admire the innovative designs of world-renowned architects at these 10 museums dedicated to the craft of architecture and design. These stunning cultural institutions will blow you away with incredible architecture and the hugely underappreciated art of model-building.
1. Archi-Depot Museum, Tokyo
Japan: 〒140-0002 Tokyo, Shinagawa City, Higashishinagawa, 2 Chome−6−10 建築倉庫ミュージアム
Phone: +81 3-5769-2133
ARCHI-DEPOT MUSEUM by Warehouse TERRADA will hold a special exhibition “Steven Holl: Making Architecture” from November 8th, 2019 (Fri) until January 18th, 2020 (Sat). This exhibition will focus on his recent works, and will travel to Japan after Seoul, Beijing, Nanjing and Shanghai, commencing in New York in 2018. In this exhibition, focusing on his recent 17 projects including 6 new additions since the previous exhibition in Shanghai, more than 100 drawings, study and presentation models, working drawings, and videos and other items of a total of 150 works will be on display for the first time in Japan. Visitors will be able to witness the making process of how Holl creates models and drawings by repeating this process and ultimately transforming his ideas into reality.
Dates: November 8th, 2019 (Fri) – January 18th, 2020 (Sat)
2. The American Institute of Architects New York
536 LaGuardia Pl, New York, NY 10012
Phone: (212) 683-0023
Founded in 1857, AIA New York State is an organization of The American Institute of Architects, serving 8500 members through advocacy and continuing education. The Center for Architecture is located in the neighborhood of Greenwich Village at 536 LaGuardia Place, between West 3rd Street and Bleecker Street in Manhattan, New York City. In recent years, the center, operated by the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, has become an increasingly important cultural institution through its revolving exhibits on architecture, urban planning, urban design, and environmental planning. The center also offers an extensive calendar of seminars, public feedback forums, project unveilings, and educational programs, as well as events and changing exhibitions.
3. The Skyscraper Museum, New York City
39 Battery Pl, New York, NY 10280
Phone: (212) 968-1961
Located in New York City, the world’s first and foremost vertical metropolis, The Skyscraper Museum celebrates the City’s rich architectural heritage and examines the historical forces and individuals that have shaped its successive skylines. Through exhibitions, programs and publications, the Museum explores tall buildings as objects of design, products of technology, sites of construction, investments in real estate, and places of work and residence.
Wednesday, November 6, 2019 3:00 pm
Curator’s Tour: Skyscraper Museum Curator Carol Willis will lead a tour of the museum’s new exhibition HOUSING DENSITY: TENEMENTS TO TOWERS. Curators tours are free with admission. No RSVP required.
4. Architecture and Design Museum of Los Angeles
900 E 4th St, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Phone: (213) 346-9734
Admission: Suggested Donation: $10
A+D Museum, also known as Architecture and Design Museum, Los Angeles, is a museum located in downtown Los Angeles Arts District at 900 E 4th Street. Currently, it is led by its executive director and chief curator, Anthony Morey, a Los Angeles-based writer, theorist, designer and curator. A design think tank, the A+D museum aspires to maintain its diverse and innovative activities to continue to bring contemporary, progressive and emerging design and architecture to international audiences.
September 7, 2019 – November 24, 2019
Proof & Prototype highlights the meticulous work it takes to create a quarterly publication focused on serving the reader above all else. The exhibition highlights the strong and soulful parallel between the craft of 000 Magazine and Porsche, its driving subject.
5. Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal
1920 Baile St, Montreal, Quebec H3H 2S6, Canada
Phone: +1 514 939 7000
Tickets: 0–10 CA$
The Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA; French: Centre canadien d’architecture) is a museum of architecture and research centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Founded in 1979 by architect-philanthropist Phyllis Lambert (best known for bringing Mies van der Rohe on to design her family’s Seagram building in New York), the Canadian Centre for Architecture bills itself as a nontraditional museum that encourages the public to think about the intersection of architecture and society. It is located at 1920 Baile Street, between Fort Street and Saint-Marc Street in what was once part of the Golden Square Mile. Today it is considered to be located in the Shaughnessy Village neighbourhood of the borough of Ville-Marie. The CCA also has an architectural garden located on the southern side of René-Lévesque Boulevard.
6. The MAXXI Museum
Via Guido Reni 4A – 00196 Rome, Italy
Phone: +39 06 3201954
Full price € 12
MAXXI (Italian: Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, “national museum of 21st-century arts”) is a national museum of contemporary art and architecture in the Flaminio neighborhood of Rome, Italy. The museum is managed by a foundation created by the Italian ministry of cultural heritage. The building was designed by Zaha Hadid, and won the Stirling Prize of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 2010. MAXXI consists of two museums: “MAXXI art” and “MAXXI architecture”. The outdoor courtyard surrounding the museum provides a venue for large-scale works of art.
7. Museum aan de Stroom
Hanzestedenplaats 1, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium
Phone: +32 3 338 44 00
In the MAS you’ll become acquainted with Antwerp in the world and with the world in Antwerp. Use all your senses to discover the city, the river, the port and the world. Enjoy breathtaking views of the city and be surprised by the many large and small details of this architectural gem. The MAS radiates water. You notice that as soon as you approach the museum; rippling glass, reflections in the water, and on the roof you can see how the Scheldt River connects Antwerp to the world. It is also a huge, contemporary storehouse inspired by the 19th-century depots that are typical of this neighbourhood. The Boulevard leads you past all the galleries. Along the way you’ll discover the giant mosaic by Luc Tuymans on the museum square. A breathtaking panorama of Antwerp awaits you at the top.
8. Museum of Design Atlanta
1315 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30309
Phone: (404) 979-6455
Tickets: 5–10 $
The Museum of Design Atlanta is conveniently located in the Midtown Arts District, right across the street from the Woodruff Arts Center at 1315 Peachtree St. NE Atlanta, GA 30309. The exhibit space at MODA is 6,500 square feet (600 m2) in two main galleries with clean, industrial lines and concrete floors. The front desk area can double as a reception space and the back gallery has a vaulted ceiling with windows stretching up two stories. Beginning 2013 was The South’s Next Wave: Design Challenge. This was presented as part exhibition, part competition; pairing designers of interior spaces with object designers to create imaginative vignettes throughout the museum. The exhibit was curated by David Goodrowe and Tim Hobby, co-founders of the design firm Goodrowe | Hobby. MODA visitors were asked to choose their favorite vignette and object. Other exhibits at the museum have focused on alternative voices in game design, the work of architect Eero Saarinen, the work of designer Paul Rand, the design of everyday things, designing for social impact and other topics.
9. Museum for Architectural Drawing
Christinenstraße 18a, 10119 Berlin, Germany
Phone: + 49 30 43 73 90 90
Tickets: 5 €, 3 € (reduction)
The building at Christinenstrasse 18a, Prenzlauer Berg is situated on the site of Pfefferberg, a former brewery. The grounds were developed as such in 1848 and have a variegated history. Since 1990 cultural centres, galleries and restaurants have thrived here in what are mainly protected, listed buildings. The Museum for Architectural Drawing is a private museum in Berlin, Germany run by the Tchoban Foundation. It was opened in June 2013. Three to four exhibitions are shown each year, made up of drawings from the Tchoban Foundation’s collection and from works on loan in cooperation with other museums and institutions. The Tchoban Foundation, a private trust based in Berlin, runs the museum to promote architectural drawing by hand. It was founded by the architect Sergei Tchoban in 2009. Its aim is to foster the drawing skills of talented young architects and to make the founder’s collection accessible for study. Exhibitions of drawings are presented on site as well as in other museums worldwide. 200 of the 450 available square metres, including the ticket desk and library, are used for exhibition space.
10. Design Museum Helsinki
Korkeavuorenkatu 23, 00130 Helsinki, Finnland
Phone: +358 9 6220540
Design Museum (Finnish: Designmuseo, Swedish: Designmuseet) is a museum in Helsinki devoted to the exhibition of both Finnish and foreign design, including industrial design, fashion, and graphic design. The building is situated in Kaartinkaupunki, on Korkeavuorenkatu Street, and is owned by the Republic of Finland through Senate Properties. The museum, which is 140 years old (2013) and one of the oldest in the world – was first founded in 1873 but has operated in its present premises, a former school, designed by architect Gustaf Nyström in 1894 in the neo-Gothic style, since 1978. The museum’s permanent collection consists of over 75,000 objects, 40,000 drawings and 100,000 drawings.
6 Sep – 27 Oct 2019
Critical Tide exhibition will open at the Design Museum’s Gallery. It brings together projects and works that explore the sea and the potential for positive impact through design. Critical Tide will combine research, activism and community engagement within the exhibition space.
23 August 2019 – 2 February 2020
Fokus Bauhaus: Just like Nordic Design, the term Bauhaus indicates modern, functional, democratic design. The centennial of the German art school Bauhaus (1919–33) is an opportunity to look at the collection of Design Museum Helsinki through the lens of Bauhaus and search for influences, parallels and differences. Located in the Changing Room of Design Museum’s Collection exhibition, the exhibition presents one of the most iconic Bauhaus-artefacts: the Bauhaus-Lamp, designed by Wilhelm Wagenfeld in 1924. By bringing together this idealized object and its critical perception, the exhibition points out the difficulties in realizing utopian ideas and introduces the viewers to the challenges of design.
11. Museum of Architecture in Wroclaw
Bernardyńska 5, 50-156 Wrocław, Poland
Phone:+48 71 344 82 79
The Museum of Architecture (in Polish: Muzeum Architektury) is in Wrocław, Poland. The museum was founded in 1965. The museum is the only architecture museum in Poland. It is located in a 15th-century post-Bernardine set of buildings, including the St Bernardine of Sienna Church and a monastic quadrangle with a garden. The museum’s collections illustrate the evolution of architecture in general, although with a specific focus on Poland. The largest collection of stained glass in Poland can be found here. Permanent exhibitions on display are: “Relics of Wroclaw’s Mediaeval Architecture”; “Architectural Craft from the Twelfth to the Twentieth Century”; “Wroclaw: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow”; “The Art of Geometry: A Gallery of Polish Geometrical and Constructivist Art”
12. Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design
Exercisplan 4, 111 49 Stockholm, Schweden
Phone: +46 8 520 235 00
ArkDes, the Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design (Swedish: Svenskt arkitektur- och designcentrum, previously known as the Museum of Architecture, Arkitekturmuseet), is a Swedish national museum dedicated to architecture and design. It is located on the island of Skeppsholmen in Stockholm, Sweden, in the same complex as Moderna Museet. The museum exhibits architecture, urban planning and design under its current director Kieran Long. It is an administrative authority under the Ministry of Culture.
13. Richard Meier’s Architectural Model Museum
888 Newark Ave, Jersey City, NJ 07306
The Richard Meier Model Museum has been designed and curated by the Pritzker Prize-winning architect Richard Meier, and it includes a large model exhibition area, a sculpture exhibition area, an archive and a library that is open to students and scholars.
The space occupies 15,000-square feet and features architectural projects from the 1960’s to the present, sculptures and collages by Richard Meier, and 1,000 books and magazines from Richard Meier’s personal library. Most prominent in the museum are large scale presentation models and study models of the Getty Center in Los Angeles, an institution widely regarded as Mr. Meier’s most ambitious project and one that required fifteen years to complete.
14. Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine, Paris
1 Place du Trocadéro et du 11 Novembre, 75116 Paris, France
Phone: +33 1 58 51 52 00
Tickets: 6–8 €
The Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine (Architecture and Heritage City) is a museum of architecture and monumental sculpture located in the Palais de Chaillot (Trocadéro), in Paris, France. Its permanent collection is also known as Musée des Monuments Français (Museum of French Monuments). It was first established in 1879 by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc. The museum has been renovated in 2007 and covers 9,000 square meters of gallery space. Alongside temporary exhibitions, it is made of three permanent exhibits:
- Galerie des Moulages: casts of monumental French architecture from the 12th to the 18th centuries, such as portals of cathedrals.
- Galerie des Peintures Murales et des Vitraux: copies of murals and stained glasses from French Romanesque and Gothic churches.
- Galerie Moderne et Contemporaine: models of French and international architecture from 1850 to the present day.
15. National Building Museum, Washington, D.C.
401 F St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Tickets: $10: Adult
The National Building Museum is located at 401 F Street NW in Washington, D.C., United States. It is a museum of “architecture, design, engineering, construction, and urban planning”. It was created by an act of Congress in 1980, and is a private non-profit institution; it is adjacent to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial and the Judiciary Square Metro station. The museum hosts various temporary exhibits in galleries around the spacious Great Hall.
The building, completed in 1887, served as the Pension Building, housing the United States Pension Bureau, and hosted several presidential inaugural balls. It is an important early large-scale example of Renaissance Revival architecture, and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1985.
Upcoming Exhibitions: Alan Karchmer: The Architects’ Photographer
The exhibition celebrates Karchmer’s recent bequest of his professional archive to the collection of the National Building Museum.
The National Building Museum will close temporarily from December 2, 2019 to March 2020.