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Top 5: New museums

Go gaga for these new galleries, set in buildings as beautiful as the artefacts they contain

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Musée des Confluences. Image: Sergio Pirrone

Musée des Confluences. Image: Sergio Pirrone, from the new book, Museums, RRP: £40 (Roads Publishing)

01 Musée des Confluences France
Set at the meeting point of the Rhône and Saône rivers, the centrepiece of Lyon’s on-going dockside regeneration is a new space-age crystal and glass creation that aims to tell the story of human life on earth from its origin to the modern day. It’s home to anthropological artefacts from as far and wide as Peru, the ancient Orient and Egypt.

Museums of Tomorrow. Image: Cesar Barreto

Museum of Tomorrow. Image: Cesar Barreto

02 Museum of Tomorrow Brazil
Ideas, not objects, star at Rio’s new Museu do Amanhã, its ‘cosmic portal’ (entrance) showing a film co-directed by City of God’s Fernando Meirelles, which compresses 13.7 billion years of geological evolution into eight minutes. This futuristic structure joins the new Museum of Art in revitalising the city’s down-and-out docks.

Pompeii. Image: Getty

Pompeii. Image: Getty

03 Pompeii Italy
Six Pompeii villas dating back to 79AD when Mount Vesuvius buried them in a shroud of ash have been given a new lease of life. Part of a project to preserve Pompeii’s intricate mosaic tiles, bath houses and even graffiti, these newly revealed villas include a merchant’s house, a thermal bath and a rare example of a laundry room.

National Gallery. Image: National Gallery Singapore

04 National Gallery Singapore
Two of Singapore’s most historic buildings, the former Supreme Court with its neoclassical beauty and the imposing City Hall, are combined here under one elegant metallic roof, housing art from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar and Cambodia.

The Whitney Museum. Image: Artur

The Whitney Museum. Image: Artur, from the new book, Museums, RRP: £40 (Roads Publishing)

05 The Whitney Museum USA
LA’s new Broad gallery may be hogging the headlines, but New York’s venerable Whitney has added a cool downtown annex to its uptown HQ. It’s a bold, cantilevered building by Renzo Piano, which hovers over the elevated High Line park, and is home to Warhol, Pollock, O’Keeffe and more.


Images of the Musée des Confluences and The Whitney Museum are from Museums, a new book exploring the space and architecture of museums, RRP: £40 (Roads Publishing)

Published in the April 2016 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)