Image credit: Tate Photography

Museums are not only spaces meant to host renowned artworks and exhibitions, but they are also feats of design that either boldly contrast or blend perfectly with the city skyline and environment. In 2016, a slew of highly-anticipated museums will shape the art and architectural world with their unique take on innovation, engagement with the setting and compelling architecture.

From exquisite art to some of the most breathtaking mountain vistas in the world, these museums will surely make an aesthetic statement in 2016. Here are five you should visit!


The new addition to San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is a 10-story fiberglass-encased monolith.Image credit: SFMOMA

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, USA
After being closed for three years of expansion, the famed San Francisco Museum of Modern Art will reopen in May with a 10-story addition designed by Norway-based architectural firm Snøhetta. Not only will the structure impress visually as it will blend seamlessly with the urban environment, but its shining features will also lie in the impressive collection of artworks. Expect to explore the Pritzker Center for Photography, touted as the largest space of its kind dedicated to the medium; the space is also famed for recognising photography as an art form and will host more than, 17,800 photographic works. Moreover, fine arts fans won’t be disappointed as the museum will be home to 3,000 art pieces from 200 donors, with the launch exhibition featuring more than 600 works by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Diane Arbus and Robert Rauschenberg.

Museu do Amanhã

Museum of Tomorrow is known for its neo-futuristic architectural style. Image credit: Museu do Amanhã

Museum of Tomorrow, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Jutting from the old port of Rio de Janeiro, Museu do Aamanha or Museum of Tomorrow is an otherworldly structure that almost feels ethereal, floating on the sea like a ship. The skeletal building designed by Valencian architect Santiago Calatrava is itself a draw in itself due to its neo-futuristic design; trussed roofs have solar spines and the structure is designed to adapt to changing environmental conditions. But a visit here is not meant to inspire only visually. The museum opened in December 2015 is famed for its blend of science and art, devoting itself to topics such as climate change, advances in technology, population growth and changes in biodiversity. With a series of experiential exhibitions, the museum’s curator, physicist and cosmologist Luiz Alberto Oliveira, takes visitor through five major areas: Cosmos, Earth, Anthropocene, Tomorrow and Now, encouraging them to explore questions of existence and to envisage the future.

Messner Museum Corones

Messner Mountain Museum Corones is located at 2,275 metres above sea level and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. Image credit: Messner Museum Corones

Messner Mountain Museum Corones, South Tyrol, Italy
Perched on top of Mount Kronplatz in Italy’s South Tyrol province, the new Messner Mountain Museum Corones is the sixth and final structure in the series of mountain museums dedicated to the world-renowned Italian mountaineer and extreme climber Reinhold Messner. Famed for climbing Mount Everest twice without the use of bottled oxygen, Messner was also the first person to climb all of the world’s 14 mountains whose peaks are over 8,000 metres high. Exquisitely designed by celebrated architect Zaha Hadid, the museum opens 24th July and explores the traditions, history and discipline of mountaineering and offers spectacular views of the Dolomites and other surrounding mountains.

Louvre Abu Dhabi, Image 1 © TDIC, Design Ateliers Jean Nouvel

Louvre Abu Dhabi will showcase exceptional works by the greatest artists of all time. Image credit: Louvre Abu Dhabi

Louvre, Abu Dhabi, UAE
As the newest crown jewel of the United Arab Emirates, Louvre pledges plenty artsy goodness for aesthetics fans in 2016. Sneak a peek inside the museum’s domed structure, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel, to admire a slew of permanent installations and temporary exhibits featuring some of the most amazing art pieces in the world. The museum, which will enter a rigorous preparation phase prior to art work installation and ahead of the official opening, will feature artwork from all around the world including the Louvre in Paris, the Centre Georges Pompidou, the Musee d’Orsay and the Palace of Versailles, so do expect Arab masters to share wall space with European icons such as Van Gogh, Monet and da Vinci.

New Tate Modern, London

The Switch House will feature new floors dedicated to live art, film and installations. Image credit: Hayes Davidson and Herzog & deMeuron

New Tate Modern, London, UK
London’s prominent modern art gallery, Tate Modern has been on the radar of art aficionados since its opening. Housed in the former Bankside Power Station on the banks of the Thames, this awe-inspiring space boasts works by artists such as Cézanne, Bonnard, Matisse, Picasso, Rothko, Dalí, Pollock, Warhol and Bourgeois. This year, the museum is set to grow further with a major new Herzog & de Meuron-designed extension – a 10-storey structure dedicated to live art, film and installations. Known as The Switch House, the structure will be unveiled in June and feature three new floors of galleries, a viewing level on the top floor and a restaurant. Its twisting, pyramid-like shape will definitely be a striking addition to London’s skyline!