April 26, 2018 / Luxury Lifestyle

Where the Art Is: 7 New Cultural Hotspots

Global art lovers have plenty to look forward to with these new and upcoming cultural openings


Reimagining heritage buildings or creating new contemporary structures, these galleries and museums are a must on every art lover's bucket list. From a sprawling complex in bustling central Hong Kong to a building that takes its design cues from the surrounding cliffs, these buildings are helping to create new cultural hubs around the world.

The Kengo Kuma-designed V&A Dundee will be the V&A’s first outpost outside London, and Scotland’s first design museum. Photograph: Ross Fraser McLean. Banner image: The Museo Internacional del Barroco outside Puebla, Mexico. Photograph: Getty Images1. V&A Dundee, Scotland
The first UK building by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma—and the first design museum in the UK to be build outside London—the V&A Dundee is due to open in September 2018. Taking design cues from the profile of local cliff faces, the 17,760-square-foot, £80m ($113m) structure perches over the River Tay on the recently revitalised Dundee Waterfront. Within its horizontally and vertically curved concrete wall panels, art lovers will find permanent galleries showcasing Scotland’s unique design landscape, such as the 15th-century Book of Hours, an exceptional illuminated manuscript. The V&A Dundee's first temporary exhibition will be Ocean Liners: Speed and Style, an exploration of the global design and cultural impact of ocean liners.

Related: Discover How Kengo Kuma is Redefining Design

The Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage & Arts—a Herzog & de Meuron creation still in its early stages—will transform a collection of historical buildings on Hong Kong Island, including the former Central Police Station, the Central Magistracy, and the Victoria Prison. 2. Tai Kwun Center for Heritage & Arts, Hong Kong
Creating a peaceful enclave in the center of high-rise-heavy Hong Kong Island is no mean feat, and Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage & Arts—a Herzog & de Meuron transformation of a collection of heritage buildings that include the former Central Police Station, the Central Magistracy, and the Victoria Prison—has risen to the challenge. The new center, set to open in phases from mid-2018, affirms the city’s position as an important Asian art hub, and will not only offer three floors of contemporary art, but also a collection of courtyard gardens, restaurants, and bars.

To reflect the desire of the owners to integrate art, architecture, and the surrounding landscape, Glenstone’s new building, the Pavilions, in Washington, D.C., is partially embedded into the earth. To reach it, visitors have to take a 10-minute walk across a meadow populated with more than 6,000 trees. Photograph: Alamy3. Glenstone, Washington, D.C.
When the Glenstone Museum’s extension opens later in 2018, it will be larger than both the Whitney in New York City and The Broad in Los Angeles, making it one of the most extensive private museums in the world. Owners Mitchell and Emily Rales hope to create a modern-day version of New York’s Frick Collection in Potomac, Maryland, just outside of the capital. The new museum building, known as the Pavilions, will have changing exhibitions as well as single-artist installations from the likes of Michael Heizer, Charles Ray, On Kawara, Brice Marden, and Cy Twombly.

Inspired by principles of the Baroque movement in his design, Toyo Ito used curved concrete walls to create fluidity between galleries, added skylights to provide natural light, and gave great consideration to the environment—the rainwater and sewage are treated and then used to feed the pond that surrounds the Museo Internacional del Barroco outside Puebla, Mexico. Photograph: Alamy4. MIB, Puebla, Mexico
Built within a UNESCO world heritage site outside of Puebla, Mexico’s fourth largest city, Museo Internacional del Barroco, or the MIB, was designed by Japanese Pritzker Prize-winning architect Toyo Ito. Dedicated to Baroque art, two levels of exhibition space explore the international genre, within a beautifully designed wrapped concrete structure. At its center, a large outdoor courtyard with a swirling pool references a common motif in Baroque painting, and encourages visitors to gather to appreciate the setting.

Related: Are Concrete Buildings Back in Style?

The dome atop the Louvre in Abu Dhabi is constructed from layered aluminum and stainless-steel honeycomb shapes that filter the sunlight into patterned shards that hit the white granite on the walls and floor of the cube-shaped museum buildings. Photograph: ©Louvre Abu Dhabi/Mohamed Somji5. The Louvre Abu Dhabi
Having opened in the United Arab Emirates in November 2017, the Louvre’s aim is to represent the dynamism of the contemporary Arab world, while celebrating the region’s multicultural heritage. French architect Jean Nouvel, who fashioned a shimmering dome over the “museum-city,” says he was inspired by the cupola of traditional Arabic architecture. The museum’s name is the result of an agreement with the Musée du Louvre in Paris, one of some 12 French cultural institutions that will lend exhibits to the new venue.

Marshall House in Reykjavik brings together two important players in Iceland’s contemporary art scene, Kling & Bang Gallery and Living Art Museum, which will both benefit from the high ceilings and wide windows of this beautifully restored former herring factory. Photograph: Einar Falur Ingolfsson6. The Marshall House, Reykjavík
In the Icelandic capital Reykjavík, architecture firm Kurt og Pí has converted a former herring processing plant, built in the 1940s, into a new center for visual art. The Marshall House is sited on the old harborside, and opened with a show titled Bad Company featuring a group of eight of the city’s emerging artists. The Marshall House serves as a satellite studio for Danish-Icelandic artist Ólafur Elíasson and is home to Kling & Bang Gallery and the Living Art Museum, both galleries that have helped to shape Iceland’s contemporary art scene.

Related: Visit Six of the Best Restaurants in Art Galleries

The New Museum for Western Australia in Perth will be nearly four times larger than its predecessor, the Western Australia Museum. Its glazed structure will be nestled between restored 19th-century buildings, with a public square in the middle of the structures to create a sprawling cultural site. Image: ©WA Museum. Render courtesy Muliplex, HASSELL+OMA7. The New Museum, Perth
Slated to open in 2020, The New Museum in Perth, Western Australia, will be built among a series of heritage buildings at the heart of the Perth Cultural Centre. To become the revitalised Western Australian Museum, the box-like structure will integrate with the 19th-century buildings that form part of the Perth Cultural Center (a district that also includes the Art Gallery of Western Australia, the State Library and the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts), and will comprise over 75,000 square feet of exhibition space and a large public square at ground level. It will be the first completed project from Rem Koolhaas’ OMA, in a joint venture with HASSELL, in Australia when it opens.

Read more travel stories


  • Art & the Artist
  • Travel, Food & Drink

Luxury Defined Editors
present the best in luxury lifestyle, travel, design, style, art, and property from around the globe