With International Museum Day (May 18) just behind us, it's as good a time as ever to celebrate the splendid new museums that will be enlightening the public in wondrous ways. While there was much hullabaloo around various starchitect-designed museums, such as Frank Gehry's Foundation Louis Vuitton in Paris or the new Whitney Museum in New York City, the past year also saw the opening of a host of other exciting new exhibition spaces, dedicated to showcasing everything from archeology and Islamic art to glass masterpieces and the history of tea. Come along, grab a pen, and jot these gems down for your next knowledge-boosting adventure.
Corning Museum of Glass · Thomas Phifer · Corning, New York
Opened in mid-March, the new Contemporary Art and Design wing at the Corning Museum of Glass is appropriately sheathed in a reflective opaque glass facade. Inspired by the sublime effect of light on glass works, NYC-based architect Thomas Phifer designed an all-white interior, dramatically illuminated by ceilings lined with skylights. The new wing includes five new galleries, each with a different shape and theme: One, for example, focuses on large-scale installations, while another highlights pieces that are less than 25 years old.
Shanghai Natural History Museum · Perkins+Will · Shanghai, China
Nine years in the making, the new Shanghai Natural History Museum finally opened its doors in late April, revealing a host of natural inspirations in its architecture. The five-story venue assumes the basic shape of a mollusk shell: the spiraling green-roofed structure curves around a sunken garden and pond, which is shielded by a stone wall that references shifting tectonic plates. Meanwhile, the inner facade of the building features a complex sunscreen that echoes both cell structure and patterns found in traditional Chinese gardens. The 480,000-square-foot museum, loaded with exhibition spaces and a 4D theater, will house more than 10,000 artifacts from all seven continents.
O'Sulloc Tea Museum · Mass Studies · Jeju Island, South Korea
Last year, the O'Sulloc Tea Museum on the scenic Jeju Island opened three new glass pavilions where visitors will get a chance to watch and participate in tea ceremonies. The first of the new structures—which sports a dark, polished exterior that reflects the surrounding forest and sky—is used for classes and exhibitions. Another new volume adds a cafe and extensive tea shop.
Moesgaard Museum · Henning Larsen Architects · Aarhus, Denmark
Founded in 1970, Denmark's Moesgaard Museum for archaeology and ethnography moved to a new home in October 2014. The roughly 172,000-square-foot space is topped with a massive sloping green roof that will be used for picnics, bonfires, outdoor lectures, and other public events. The interior, which is designed after a terraced landscape, showcases rare artifacts from Danish prehistory, such as a 2,300-year-old bog body and weapon sacrifices dating back to the 3rd century.
Aga Khan Museum · Fumihiko Maki · Toronto, Canada
Opened in September 2014, Toronto's new Aga Khan Museum for Islamic art is the first North American museum devoted to the subject. The grounds include an angular structure clad in white granite, reflection pools, and park space designed by landscape architect Vladimir Djurovic. The main building, organized around a central courtyard with patterned screens, includes galleries, educational spaces, an auditorium, and a restaurant.
· All Museums coverage [Curbed]