Surface Travel Awards

The Standout Cultural Institution Debuts of 2019

A museum inspired by a desert rose in Doha, a Canadian library festooned with curvaceous red cedar, Hong Kong's opera house mimicking a traditional Chinese lantern—this year's Surface Travel Awards finalists for cultural institution are a class defined by large ambitions.

National Museum of Qatar.

Two years after inaugurating the Louvre Abu Dhabi across the Persian Gulf, French architect Jean Nouvel has unveiled another blockbuster cultural space in the Middle East, the National Museum of Qatar. It wasn’t the only opening with a boldfaced name attached: Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Rockwell Group collaborated on The Shed, part of New York’s Hudson Yards development, and Snøhetta envisioned the region’s Chinook winds when conceiving the design for Calgary’s New Central Library. Canada’s own Revery Architecture joins the list with a surprising commission, the Chinese lantern–inspired Xiqu Centre in Hong Kong. Scroll below for a look at this year’s finalists in the cultural institution category, and be sure to check out all of the finalists in the Surface Travel Awards.

Xiqu Centre, Hong Kong, by Bing Thom and Venelin Kokalov, Revery Architecture Inc.

The Shed, New York City, by Diller Scofidio + Renfro (Lead Architect) and Rockwell Group (Collaborating Architect).

New Central Library, Calgary, by Snøhetta.

National Museum of Qatar, Doha, by Ateliers Jean Nouvel.

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