Museums house spectacular historical artifacts and works of art.
But many museum buildings are pretty spectacular in their own right.
A jury of experts from buildings database Emporis selected the world’s most impressive museums, from Frank O. Gehry’s Guggenheim Bilbao to the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar.
BMW World in Munich, Germany has a distinctive double cone. It is used both as an exhibition hall and also for getting cars to new customers.
The Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, France has all of its elevators, stairs, and pipes on the outside of the building. As a result, interior walls can be rearranged to adjust floorplans as exhibits change.
The Experience Music Project in Seattle was inspired by a broken Fender Stratocaster guitar. It was endowed by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.
The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Bilbao, Spain is a work of art itself. It has also put Bilbao, an industrial city, on the map as a centre for art.
The Jewish Museum Berlin is actually two buildings. The newer one has a zigzag footprint and a shiny titanium facade.
The Kunsthaus Graz in Graz, Austria has almost 900 fluorescent bulbs that can display rough images and animations.
The Maritime Museum in Lingang, China has two curved roof shells in the shape of sails over the exhibition hall. It is large enough to display ships.
The Museo Soumaya in Mexico City, Mexico was commissioned by billionaire Carlos Slim to display his art collection. Around 17,000 metal plates help to create that facade.
The Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar is located on an artificial island. Its design is on display as the sun creates contrasting light and shadow.
The National Art centre in Tokyo, Japan has fins over its wavy glass facade to prevent direct light from entering.
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York is the oldest Guggenheim Museum. It has a 400-meter long ramp that spirals its way to the fourth floor.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.