Since the ‘Bilbao effect’ became common parlance, we’ve experienced a cultural revolution, during which architects and great museum collections have transformed cities and tourism. The most exciting new museums opening in 2018 are not only reinvigorating their milieus but redefining what a museum can be. Here are our top 10.

Hayward Gallery, London

10 new museums opening in 2018: London's Hayward Gallery
Photography: Morley von Sternberg / Southbank Centre

The Southbank’s Brutalist art space reopens with broader, brighter galleries after a two-year refurb of its 66 pyramidal rooflights, previously blocked with a false roof to stem a leaking ceiling. Its removal will allowing natural light to stream into the upper galleries and give the rooms more height.
Opening in 25 January 2018

Beta Main (Artists in Residence complex), Los Angeles

10 new museums opening in 2018: Beta Main
Render courtesy Tom Wiscombe Architecture

Last year the Main opened the first phase of its three-building, experimental art museum in downtown LA. In a month, veteran California architect Tom Wiscombe completes a mezzanine gallery with a 12-metre glass wall, along with five artist-in-residence studios.
Opening in 25 February 2018

Guardian Art Center, Beijing

10 new museums opening in 2018: Guardian Art Center by Buro Ole Scheeren
Via Büro Ole Scheeren

Guardian Art Center is one of the world’s few modern auction houses – and Ole Scheeren’s contemporary monochrome building, sat amid ancient Beijing, doubles as a museum and ‘lifestyle destination’. The brickwork and grey cladding echo the tone of the surrounding hutongs, with artful punctures borrowed from historic Chinese painting.
Opening in May 2018

Tai Kwun Center for Heritage & Arts, Hong Kong

10 new museums opening in 2018: Tai Kwun Center
Via Herzog & De Meuron

Tai Kwun is Cantonese for ‘big station’ and indeed Hong Kong’s Central Police Station sat in a walled heritage compound until Herzog + de Meuron began its epic revitalisation. Their plan updates the existing buildings as contemporary cultural venues and adds new spaces within landscaped courtyards.
Opening in Summer 2018

V&A, Dundee

10 new museums opening in 2018: V&A Dundee

Nearly 2,500 cast-stone panels form the sculptural façade of this giant hull-shaped new museum, designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma in Dundee. Literally anchored in the River Tay, it will be Scotland’s first museum to showcase innovative local design dating back to Charles Rennie MacIntosh.
Opening on 15 September 2018

Fotografiska, London

10 new museums opening in 2018: Fotografiska in London
Via Derwent London

The Swedish photography museum is expanding across the pond to New York’s Flatiron District, but first it opens an outpost in London, occupying the lower floors of a concrete building reconfigured by architects Fletcher Priest. The wide, windowed space buffs up a dowdy corner of Whitechapel with artwork by Helmut Newton, Sally Mann and other legends.
Opening in November 2018

Tank, Shanghai

10 new museums opening in 2018: Tank, Shanghai
Via Open Architecture

An anchor of the new West Bund art district, Tank inhabits five decommissioned oil tanks repurposed by Beijing practice Open Architecture. They’ve developed a ‘super surface’ that links the structures at ground level and conceals them under an undulating, turf-like landscape. Combining a new museum and recreation space, the tanks will house Qiao Zhibing’s art collection, as well as specially commissioned installations.
Opening in November 2018

Glenstone Museum, Maryland

10 new museums opening in 2018: Glenstone Museum in Potomac
Courtesy Thomas Phifer and Partners

One of America’s lesser-known private museums is about to become one of its largest, stretched over 200 acres outside Washington DC. Dedicated to contemporary art, architecture and landscape, Glenstone reopens with a new building by Thomas Phifer and Partners with landscaping and a water garden by Peter Walker of PWP.
Opening in late 2018

Grand Egyptian Museum, Giza

10 new museums opening in 2018: Grand Egyptian Museum ,Giza
Courtesy Heneghan Peng Architects

Heneghan Peng’s colossal new Egyptology museum climbs up to an ancient plateau, guiding visitors to sweeping views of the iconic pyramids. A translucent stone wall, backlit at night, ‘veils’ the triple-peaked, 100,000 sq m structure and its shaded courtyard.
Opening in late 2018

Museum of Image & Sound, Rio de Janeiro

10 new museums opening in 2018: Museum of Image and Sound in Rio
Courtesy Diller Scofidio + Renfro

Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s long-awaited new museum will open in 2018 with a ‘vertical boulevard’ leading up eight floors of galleries, theatres, restaurants and a roof terrace overlooking Copacabana Beach. The building celebrates the city’s cultural history, including samba and bossa nova music and Carnival.
Opening in December 2018

Read next: 11 spectacular new hotels opening in 2018

Ellen Himelfarb

Ellen Himelfarb covers architecture, art, travel and everything in between, for publications including The Sunday Times and The Globe & Mail

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