December 17th 2011

The best architecture museums in the US

Though there are thousands of museums dedicated to art and architecture combined, there aren’t quite as many dedicated solely to the latter.

But the ones that are, well, they’re pretty darn amazing.

Here are our top five favourite architecture museums – and why you should love them, too.

The Skyscraper Museum

Located in New York City, New York, the Skyscraper Museum is the world’s first and foremost vertical metropolis. It celebrates NYC’s rich architectural heritage, as well as highlights those who are a part of the process. They’ve dedicated their work to the study of high-rise buildings, past, present, and future, and regular features exhibitions, publications, educational programs, and a comprehensive website.

Their current visiting exhibition runs until January 2012. Called Supertall!, it is an international survey of superlative towers featuring projects built since 2001, or to be built by 2016.  It highlights their innovative approach, large size, and creative output.

National Building Museum

The National Building Museum is dedicated to the history and impact of the built environment. They provide the stories of architecture, engineering, and design, all nestled in a magnificent building with a soaring Great Hall, colossal 75-foot-tall Corinthian columns, and a 1,200-foot terra cotta frieze.

Their current visiting exhibitions include:

Walls Speak: The Narrative Art of Hildreth Meière: Running until January 2nd, exhibition features sketches, painted studies, and scale models that bring Meière’s creative process to life.

LEGO® Architecture: Towering Ambition: Running until September 3rd, 2012, this exhibition showcases fifteen buildings from around the world made  from LEGO® bricks, all by Adam Reed Tucker.

The Chicago Athenaeum

The Chicago Athenaeum is an International Museum of Architecture and Design, based in Chicago. Since 1988, it has been dedicated to the Art of Design in: architecture, industrial, and product design, graphics, and urban planning. Their mission is the advancement of public education about the value of Good Design – from the “spoon to the city” – and how design can positively impact the human environment.

The Architectural League, New York

The Architectural League aims to advance the art of architecture by promoting excellence and innovation. They also develop community and discussion for creative and intellectual work in architecture, urbanism, and related disciplines. They highlight architects and designers to New York, national and international audiences, through lectures, exhibitions, publications, and the Internet.

Their current visiting exhibition is The Unfinished Grid: Design Speculations for Manhattan. This exhibition features eight innovative proposals for the future of Manhattan’s street grid. On view until April 15th, 2012, it celebrates the 200th anniversary of the 1811 Commissioners’ Plan for New York, which created Manhattan’s famous street grid.

Architecture and Design Museum, Los Angeles

The mission of the Architecture and Design Museum in Los Angeles is to promote and bring forth celebration of progressive and innovative architecture and design in every day life. They do this through a variety of exhibits, educational programming, and public outreach.

The museum serves as a showcase for the work of all regional, national and international designers, while providing a forum for contemporary issues in architecture, urbanism, and design that help shape and develop the city.

Their current visiting exhibition is Eames Words. Going on until January 16th, 2012, this exhibition aims to inspire viewers to appreciate the world by honoring “the uncommon beauty of common things.” The simple pleasures of daily life are illustrated with objects and materials that may seem basic, but have more meaning.

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Andrew's Biography

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Andrew loves art and design, and pursues his studies in his final year at the Ontario College of Art and Design. He loves seeking out new artists and giving them their dues, and in his spare time, focuses on his own abstract sculpture.