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The Traveller's Magazine
  •   3 min read

Museums are curious spaces. They house sometimes millions of objects from sometimes thousands of years ago while others only dedicate themselves to works from the present moment. Curated to make a point, museums come in all shapes, sizes and subjects. However, some are more beautiful than others and these photos prove it!

Instead of stubbornly attempting to use surrealism for purposes of subversion, it is necessary to try to make of surrealism something as solid, complete and classic as the works of museums. – Salvador Dali

MAS Museum – Antwerp (Belgium)


The red and sandstone brick in this construction comes from India while the clear undulating glass gives the galleries natural light and opens up to views of the waterfront. The architects, Neutelings and Riedijk, wanted a building that fit in with the surrounding 16th century storehouses but also suited the modern harbour-front. We think they did a pretty good job!

Museum of Islamic Art – Doha (Qatar)

Doha museum

At first glance this building looks like something out of one of Picasso’s cubist paintings but the architect took inspiration solely from the Islamic world. The museum is both simple and beautiful. The design is dynamic. The sand-stone coloured blocks echo the desert and the palm trees create the setting for an oasis. Truly stunning.

National Museum of Art – Osaka (Japan)


Most of this museum is actually underground but you can still spot it from far away thanks for the steel and glass construction that juts 170ft into the air. The architect, César Pelli, was inspired by the motion of bamboo reeds in the wind. While some say it looks more like wings, motion is implied in both which is what Pelli was after. The steel design certainly creates an interesting effect of light and shadows into the museum lobby below. A visit to this museum is a good excuse to enter to win one of 10,000 free flights to Japan.

Royal Ontario Museum – Toronto (Canada)


Toronto was really in for a surprise when the new renovation on the original museum, which was built in 1914, was unveiled in 2007. Some love it, some hate it. The addition was designed by Daniel Libeskind who was inspired by the museum’s collection of gems. The design features five prisms made of steel, glass and aluminum. One thing is for sure, it’s daring… in a good way.

What’s your favourite museum? Which museums would you add to the “most beautiful” list?

Imgs: Rachel Zack, antwerpenR, Larry Johnson, ..colb.., Rebeca-Elias / Flicr cc.

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