2015 gave rise to numerous new museum openings. While it used to be hard to summarise the importance of museums, now, all you need to do is look at the buildings. Museums are being treated as a laboratory for the most provoking and avant-garde architects. It has become a career-making move to design a museum. Sure, I. M. Pei, Frank Gehry, and Frank Lloyd Wright did this – but the pace and form is growing at a rapid rate.

The world’s most iconic new museum buildings of 2015 introduce another new paradigm: the private museum. Private collectors are building their own museums for their collections, when they would have once bequeathed them to an existing institution. And of course, the biggest statement they can make with their new galleries is the architecture.

Here is our selection of the 5 most impressive new institutions from 2015 and their ‘starchitect’ designers:


  1. The new home of the Whitney Museum of American Arts, New York City, designed by Renzo Piano.

The “New Whitney” above New York’s High Line in the Meatpacking District is a big move changing the New York City skyline over the Hudson River.


  1. The Garage Museum, Moscow, designed by Rem Koolhaas

Roman Abromovich’s wife, Dasha Zhukova, is playing an integral part in transforming both Gorky Park and the contemporary arts landscape in Moscow.


  1. The Prada Foundation, Milan, designed by Rem Koolhaas

The fashion label’s famed art collection now has a campus to match. From the Wes Anderson designed café, to the gold leaf-laden building by the entrance, there are countless different architectural experiences to encounter.


  1. The Broad, Los Angeles, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro

Considered the world’s largest collector of Art, Eli Broad has opened his own museum for the city of Los Angeles. It comes at a time when the art world seems to be vacating Brooklyn for America’s west coast.


  1. The Aishti Foundation in Beirut, designed by David Adjaye

Tony Salamé, the fashion mogul of Lebanon, and mega-collector of art opened a mixed use museum and mall on the shores of Beirut. Its inaugural exhibition, “New Skin,” is curated by the New Museum’s artistic director Massimiliano Gioni.

Aaron Kohn consults for Auriti Advisory, Boston’s partner for offering clients expertise in establishing and developing their art collections.