A new museum will go through decades of planning and construction before its collections can be imported onto a new site – few without severe delays and often controversy as people and politics evolve. This makes every new cultural centre nothing short of extraordinary. We’ve tracked down the 10 most likely to launch over the next year, with splendid architecture and design to match the artefacts within.
Museum of Shakespeare, London, UK
Excavated during the development of the Stage residential tower in Shoreditch, London, the remains of the original Curtain Playhouse – the original venue for Shakespeare’s earliest plays – will finally be revealed to the public through the crafty design of Bompas and Parr. Along with Historic England and the Museum of London Archaeology, the team has devised a glass prism-like structure and viewing platform, as well as a loop of enhanced projections, giving visitors a sense of being on the stage in the 16th century.
Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Ohio, USA
DLR Group oversaw the architecture, engineering and interiors for this city-centre institution, transforming the staging and circulation and enhancing connections to the green outdoors. As a result, the rippling stone and glass envelope will tease elements of the collection, from prehistoric skeletons to high-tech projections. The Cleveland Museum of Natural History should open some months after the total solar eclipse directly in its sights on April 8, 2024.
Grand Egyptian Museum, Giza, Egypt
Heneghan Peng‘s pyramidal design for this monumental cultural complex has featured in ‘top 10’ lists for years now. Their hope is that, by late 2024, visitors will finally be able to experience its vaunted view of the pyramids, through the translucent stone ‘veil’ facing southeast, toward the necropolis. Triangular apertures in other walls allow sunny glimpses to the extensive gardens and Nile Valley palms, yet the focus will be the Grand Egyptian Museum’s 24,000 sq m of indoor space devoted to Egyptology.
Universal Wine Museum, Beijing, China
Eight years since the opening of Bordeaux’s Cité du Vin wine museum, Beijing’s Fangshan Valley is getting a sister version by Shanghai-based Architecturestudio, with interiors by France’s Ateliers Adeline Rispal. The building, its own ‘medieval city’ in Beijing’s green southwest, incorporates a wine school, tasting rooms and gourmet restaurants, with multimedia exhibitions that demystify concepts of terroir, ageing, gastronomy and the history of wine. When open, the Universal Wine Museum will be the second biggest wine museum on the planet.
Studio Museum Harlem, New York, USA
Another casualty of construction delays and controversy, not least for the scandal surrounding architect David Adjaye, the six-storey beacon for African American culture should finally be completed in 2024. A stack of cubic volumes faced in glass and stone, it was designed to resemble the heritage brownstones of residential Harlem, home to Black artists, musicians and activists for 150 years. The entrance steps resemble brownstone ‘stoops’, descending to a lecture hall and theatre, and a roof terrace allows views down through New York.
Nintendo Museum, Kyoto, Japan
Japan’s paean to all things Nintendo is also one of 2024’s most exciting adaptive reuse projects, taking over the company’s former gaming factory in Uji City, built-in 1969. Inside the museum will showcase Nintendo prototypes, limited-edition figurines and gaming artefacts going back to its early hanafuda playing cards from 1889. Work is expected to be completed in March 2024, with the opening date TBD.
The Frick Collection, New York, USA
New York architecture buffs delighted at the Frick Collection’s temporary move to a Bauhaus Breuer building on Madison Avenue eight years ago. Now they’re excited about its return home to the 1914 Carrère and Hastings-designed mansion at Central Park’s eastern edge. The partnership of Selldorf Architects and Beyer Blinder Belle restored and updated the tranquil gardens facing 70th Street and enhanced the interiors with improved lighting, seating, flow and access to the second storey.
Zayed National Museum, Abu Dhabi
Doubling as a permanent memorial to late UAE president Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, this neighbour to the Louvre Abu Dhabi incorporates desert topography and Middle Eastern motifs into a highly contemporary form by Foster + Partners. The Zayed National Museum’s five distinctive steel wings draw out hot air while cooling pipes release cool air into the lobby. Gathering spaces are anchored into the earth while sun-lit galleries balance in the multifaceted volume above.
Saka Museum, Bali, Indonesia
A tropical estate on Bali’s southern peninsula is the site of a new Balinese cultural museum dedicated to the history of the island and the Balinese principle Tri Hita Karana. The temple-like structure sits on a moated green at the edge of Jimbaran town. Interiors by Hong Kong designers Napp Studio emphasise natural woods, and pebble-shaped seating with garden views through triple-height windows.
Storm King Art Center, New Windsor, New York, USA
There are few landscapes quite like Storm King, the 60-year-old Hudson Valley outdoor museum that takes ‘sculpture garden‘ to 500-acre extremes. In autumn, it will unveil a woody new fabrication workshop, studio and conservation building by Heneghan Peng with support from WXY, plus improved landscaping by Reed Hilderbrand. The reimagined welcome area and ‘outdoor lobby’ will dispense with the need for five acres of former parking space, which will, in turn, be landscaped with newly commissioned outdoor art.