Art Gallery Architecture – Art Galleries

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Art Gallery Architecture : Contemporary Galleries

Major Arts Projects from around the World

Art Gallery Architecture Design

This page contains a selection of major art gallery designs from around the globe. We’ve selected what we feel is the key Art Gallery Architecture around the world. The focus is on contemporary Art Gallery buildings.

Art Gallery Buildings : A-E

Art Gallery Architecture : F-L (this page)

Art Gallery Designs : M-R

Art Gallery Building Designs : S-Z

Art Galleries – Selection

Art Galleries, chronological:

Kunsthaus, Graz, Austria – added 28 May 2013
SpaceLab – Peter Cook + Colin Fourier, with Architektur Consult
Worlds Spectacular Museum Buildings
photo : Maleen Diestel

Kunsthaus Graz

KPF London Gallery
London Art Gallery
photograph : Kohn Pedersen Fox
KPF London Gallery – 3 Feb 2012
This gallery space is run by architecure studio Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates.

Gallery Borzo, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Design: Wiel Arets Architects
Gallery Borzo
picture : Jan Bitter

Gallery Borzo
At the beginning of the 20th century the structure was revised to accommodate a large warehouse. The shop was then taken over by F.J. Dupont. In 1932 Alexander Bodon redesigned the building as a bookshop.

Jamia Art Gallery, New Delhi, India
Design: Romi Khosla Design Studios
Jamia Art Gallery
picture : Saurabh Pandey

Jamia Art Gallery

Art Gallery Architecture Designs, alphabetical:

Fuglsang Kunstmuseum, Denmark
Tony Fretton Architects
Fuglsang Kunstmuseum
photo © Helene Binet

Fuglsang Kunstmuseum : Design Contest
George Segal Art Gallery, New Jersey, USA
ikon.5 architects
George Segal Art Gallery
picture from architect

American Gallery
Glass Pavilion, Museum of Art, Ohio, USA
Museum of Art Toledo
image © 2008 Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa

Glass Pavilion, Toledo
Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, England
Pringle Richards Sharratt
Herbert Art Gallery and Museum
photo from CABE

Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry
Kiasma Contemporary Art, Finland
Steven Holl Architects
Kiasma Art Gallery
image Courtesy Steven Holl

Finnish Modern Art Gallery, Helsinki
La Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona, Spain
Josep Lluís Sert, Architect
Joan Miro Foundation
photo © Adrian Welch

Joan Miro Foundation
Latvian MoCA, Riga, Latvia
Rem Koolhaas / OMA
Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art
picture from architect

Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art
Lewis Glucksman Gallery, Cork, Ireland
O’Donnell + Tuomey Architects
Irish gallery building
photo from architects

Irish gallery building
Lisson Gallery, London
Tony Fretton Architects
Lisson Gallery
photograph © Adrian Welch

Lisson Gallery
Louisiana Art Gallery, Denmark
Jørgen Bo & Vilhelm Wohlert, Architects
Louisiana Art Gallery
image © Adrian Welch

Louisiana Art Gallery

More Art Gallery Buildings online soon

Art Galleries – No Images

Art Gallery Architecture – no images, alphabetical:

James Simon Gallery, Museum Island, Berlin, Germany

Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, USA
Arata Isozaki / Gruen Associates

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, USA
Josef Paul Kleiheus

National Gallery in Tokyo, Roppongi, Tokyo, Japan
Kisho Kurokawa

National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, Japan
Le Corbusier

More Art Gallery Designs welcome

Architecture of Art Galleries

‘Good things can happen by accident’

Article by architect Alan Dunlop, Scotland

icon buildings

I once missed the turn-off for the Grand Canyon and ended up seeing Utah. Had I not turned back I would have missed Arizona, renowned for desert, quality of light and Taliesin West. In Phoenix, I went looking for Frank Lloyd Wright but discovered instead a jewel of an art gallery and museum.

The Heard Museum of Native American Cultures and Art was founded by Dwight and Maie Heard in 1929 in their home. As their collection increased it became internationally respected. The museum building has grown substantially but retains a domestic scale that is a hospitable backdrop for art. There is a sequence of shaded courtyards showcasing sculpture, and the native art rests easy in an environment that welcomes rather than alienates. I stayed so long I never made it to Taliesin.

Art galleries and museums are often overwhelming. ‘The first thing you want to do is have a cup of coffee,’ said Louis Kahn. ‘You feel so tired immediately.’ Not so the Burrell Gallery. For some, the collection of industrialist Sir William Burrell is more notable for its eclecticism than its quality, but there are works by Degas, Renoir and the Scottish Colourists. The collection may be an indulgence but the building by Barry Gasson and Brit Anderson is rigorous. Constructed from Locharbriggs red sandstone in Glasgow’s Pollock Park, it incorporates elements of the collection into the fabric and is designed in terraces to meld into its setting. It is a play of subtlety and respect for both context and content. Completed in 1983, it is yet to be surpassed as an art gallery and museum in the UK.

“The Quadracci Pavilion diminishes the collection it houses”

Gasson and Anderson must have known the Louisiana Museum in Humlebaek, Denmark, where art, architecture and landscape are also skilfully integrated. On the Oresund seafront, Jorgen Bo and Vilhelm Wohlert have over 35 years created a sequence of discreet, unpretentious galleries. The Louisiana Collection includes contemporary Danish art and works by Picasso, Lichtenstein and Henry Moore. Before starting to design, Bo and Wohlert spent months on site in 1957, understanding the landscape, carrying on ‘a kind of dialogue with the natural surroundings’. Their larger and most recent buildings, assisted by Claus Wohlert, are partially set into the ground to minimise their impact and to retain an uninterrupted vista to the sea. The spaces are bright and simply constructed with white rendered walls, timber roofs and screens. As with the Burrell, buildings follow the slope externally but internally levels are maintained, creating terraces to maximise daylight to the galleries.

Wall-to-wall glazed screening framing a view is also used by Renzo Piano in the Beyeler Foundation Art Museum near Basel. Here the landscape is ordered by the architecture and the building is much more a recognisable statement than in Humelbaek or Glasgow. The galleries slip between retaining walls which run north to south to maintain a level floor as the site drops west to east. It is a sophisticated structure with brises-soleil regulating the daylight. Internally, finishes are muted to respect the art. The Beyeler represents a transition between the gallery integrated to landscape and architecture which seeks to dominate it, in this case as ‘a ship lying anchored alongside the busy road’.

Art Gallery of Alberta Building
photo : Robert Lemermeyer

Art galleries and museums confer cultural status. Every city needs one. Many new projects, however, seem driven by the desire to create an architectural statement rather than to provide a venue that is welcoming and accessible. Calatrava’s first building in the US, the Quadracci Pavilion at Milwaukee Art Museum, completed in 2002, is the antithesis of the Louisiana Museum. Originally intended as an extension to Eero Saarinen’s stark War Memorial, it dominates their shared lakefront location. Built in dazzling white concrete, the entrance from a suspension bridge bursts into a 30m high glass reception hall. A sculptured louvered sunscreen on the roof rises and lowers to control the sun at set intervals during the day. ‘The Flap’, recalling the fluke of a whale or the sail of a ship, has become a piece of performance art for tourists, many of whom never enter the gallery itself. Although immaculately detailed and constructed, the building diminishes the collection it houses, which includes work by Winslow Homer and Georgia O’Keefe. The collection of American decorative arts after 1960 is apparently among the nation’s finest. Unfortunately, I didn’t see much of it… I went for a cup of coffee. Jan 2007

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