Our guide to the most important new museums and expansions in 2017

From the Louvre Abu Dhabi to Cape Town's Zeitz Museum via London, Los Angeles and lots more


Museum Macan, Jakarta

What: Indonesia gets its first Museum of Modern and contemporary art, based in the country’s capital, Jakarta.

Architect: London-based Met Studio Design

How big: 43,000 sq. ft

How much: undisclosed

Funder: The museum founder, the businessman Haryanto Adikoesoemo

When: November

What they say: “Museum Macan will be the first institution of its kind in Indonesia, providing public access to a significant and growing collection of Modern and contemporary art from Indonesia and around the world.”

What we say: Adikoesoemo’s collection includes works by key Indonesian artists such as Heri Dono and Agus Suwage as well as blue-chip names including Gerhard Richter and Andy Warhol. The inaugural show will focus on the collection presenting a “disrupted chronology” from the 19th century until today.

Tate St Ives, Cornwall

What: Tate St Ives, which has been closed for 18 months, reopens after extensive renovations.

Architect: Jamie Fobert Architects, London

How big: 595 sq. m of new gallery space

How much: £19.9m

Funders: The Heritage Lottery Fund, Arts Council England, Coastal Communities Fund, Cornwall Council and the Headley Trust

When: The museum partially reopens in the spring with two exhibitions, The Studio and The Sea, in the existing gallery (31 March-3 September). The refurbishment programme is scheduled for completion in the autumn.

What they say: “Opened in 1993, the original Tate St Ives building was designed to accommodate up to 70,000 visitors per year. The gallery and its programme attracts over 240,000 visitors per year, with up to 2,000 visitors per day during summer months.”

What we say: A new gallery will be used as a temporary exhibition space, and there will be a new permanent display of work by artists associated with St Ives.

Louvre Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi

What: The long awaited Louvre Abu Dhabi, a major encyclopaedic museum in the Middle East, is due to open on Saadiyat Island, the new museum and culture quarter developed by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority.

Architect: Jean Nouvel

How big: 9,200 sq. m of galleries for permanent displays; 2,000 sq. m for temporary exhibitions.

How much: The project has been financed to the tune of $1bn by the Emirati government.

Funder: In 2007, France and the United Arab Emirates signed an unprecedented agreement to create the Louvre Abu Dhabi.

When: No official opening date has been announced but the building is scheduled for completion by the spring.

What they say: “Louvre Abu Dhabi is intended to be a place of discovery, exchange and education. It will also play an important social role in United Arab Emirates. In this respect, it can be seen as a product of the 18th-century Enlightenment in Europe. This movement gave birth to the principle of the encyclopaedic and universal museum housing diverse collections of works for the purposes of public display and scientific study.”

What we say: Twelve other French institutions, including the Centre Pompidou, have agreed to contribute loans in exchange for a €265m fee spread over 15 years. In 2008, the Louvre’s then-director, Henri Loyrette, told us that the deal represented “a revolution” for French museums because it provided them “with what you in the US and UK are used to—namely, an endowment fund”.

Victoria and Albert Museum, London

What: The Exhibition Road Building Project at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) includes a new entrance, courtyard and subterranean gallery for temporary exhibitions.

Architect: Amanda Levete Architects (AL_A)

How big: 6,360 sq. m

How much: £49.5m

Funders: The Monument Trust, the Dr Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation, the Blavatnik Family Foundation, the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Headley Trust and the Garfield Weston Foundation.

When: July

What they say: “The scheme will transform a previously inaccessible back-of-house space into the open courtyard for installations, events and a café, which, by revising the existing screen designed by Sir Aston Webb, will create a new relationship between the heart of the V&A and Exhibition Road.

What we say: The development includes the Sainsbury Gallery for temporary exhibitions and the Blavatnik Hall, named after the patron Leonard Blavatnik who donated several million pounds towards the new wing.

Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, Cape Town

What: The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) is housed in the waterfront grain silo complex in Cape Town, which was constructed in 1921.

Architect: Heatherwick Studio, London

How big: 102,000 sq. ft

How much: 500m rand ($36.4m)

Funder: V&A Waterfront, a retail and tourism company is funding the redevelopment costs and also owns the building

When: September

What they say: “[The German entrepreneur] Jochen Zeitz’s collection forms the founding collection of the museum, and is on long-term loan. Pieces from the collection will be exhibited alongside the museum’s permanent collection.”

What we say: Jochen Zeitz will also underwrite a small percentage of the running costs of the museum, and will provide funding for new acquisitions. “The last time Africa built a museum of this scale was in 1892, and it was the Egyptian Museum in Cairo,” he told Christie’s.

Design Society/V&A, Shenzhen

What: The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London will open a new design gallery, within Design Society, in collaboration with China Merchants Shekou Holdings (CMSK) in Shekou in Shenzhen, southern China.

Architect: Japanese architecture studio Maki & Associates

How big: The museum will be part of the 70,000 sq. m Sea World Arts and Culture Centre

How much: undisclosed

Funder: China Merchants Shekou Holdings

When: October

What they say: “The [gallery] design features three cantilevered volumes atop a deconstructed plinth, opening up horizons to the mountain, the sea and the city.”

What we say: Under the terms of the five-year partnership with CMSK, the V&A will organise ongoing presentations of 20th- and 21st-century international design from its collection in the V&A Gallery.

Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

What: The Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (ICA LA) is due to open its new space in the city’s downtown Arts District. The museum was previously known as the Santa Monica Museum of Art.

Architect: New York-based wHY, under the direction of founder Kulapat Yantrasast

How big: 12,700 sq. ft How much: $5m

Funders: Board contributions, individual gifts, foundation grants and other institutional support

When: Autumn

What they say: “The museum will house expansive galleries, an education annex, indoor/outdoor café, and a garden.”

What we say: The institution will include an “experimental kitchen café”, fuelling the trend for pairing culinary and artistic activities. Mark Bradford, the artist representing the US at the Venice Biennale this year, has designed a new logo and visual identity for ICA LA.

Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami

What: The Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami is due to move to its new home in the city’s Design District after launching in a temporary venue in December 2014.

Architect: The Spanish firm Aranguren & Gallegos Arquitectos

How big: 37,500 sq. ft

How much: undisclosed

Funders: Several private sponsors, including the philanthropists Irma and Norman Braman When: December

What they say: “With more than double the space for exhibition galleries, and a new 15,000 sq. ft sculpture garden, the new building further advances the museum’s mission of providing a dynamic platform for the exchange of art and ideas.”

What we say: Works from the collection will be shown in six galleries, with commissions and loans in the sculpture garden. Of an endowment, the director, Ellen Salpeter, says: “We are in the quiet phases of a sustainability campaign to ensure ongoing growth.”

Botín Centre, Santander

What: A major private organisation in Spain, the Botín Foundation, is building a vast new arts complex in Santander, northern Spain.

Architect: Renzo Piano with Luis Vidal y Arquitectos

How big: 8,739 sq. m

How much: undisclosed Funder: Botín Foundation When: to be announced

What they say: “[The Foundation’s] objective is to contribute to the development of the community by carrying out home-produced programmes in the fields of science, education, rural development, culture and social action.”

What we say: The building will be split into two parts; the west wing will encompass 2,500 sq. m of exhibition space, while workspaces and an auditorium will be housed in the east wing. Vicente Todolî, the former director of Tate Modern, is the president of the foundation’s visual arts advisory committee. 

Also due to open The Fondation d’Entreprise Galeries Lafayette, run by the eponymous French retail chain, opens its new arts complex housed in a 19th-century building in central Paris. The project is being carried out by OMA, the architectural practice founded by Rem Koolhaas.

Meanwhile, OMA is due to launch its first building in the United Arab Emirates in March in Alserkal Avenue, an art hub in Dubai. The venue, called Concrete, will be inaugurated with a show of works by Modern and contemporary artists from Syria.

Two museums dedicated to the life and work of the late French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent are due to open in Marrakech and Paris. The French company Studio KO will oversee the Marrakech museum while the stage designer Nathalie Crinière and interior designer Jacques Grange will reconfigure the Parisian museum.

The private equity magnate J. Tomilson Hill says that he plans to open a private museum in Chelsea in New York this autumn, showing Modern and contemporary work.

The Marciano Art Foundation, founded by brothers Paul and Maurice Marciano, is due to launch an exhibition space in Los Angeles this spring housed in a former Masonic Temple.

The Ferens Art Gallery in Hull, Yorkshire, reopens in January for Hull’s City of Culture 2017 after a £4.5m refurbishment. Five of Francis Bacon’s Screaming Popes will be on show.

The John Hansard Gallery in Southampton is joining forces with Nuffield Southampton Theatres to form Studio 144, a £25m centre for the arts, which is due to open in the spring.

The V-A-C Foundation, which was founded by the Russian billionaire Leonid Mickhelson in 2009, is due to open a new gallery housed in a 19th-century palace in Venice in May.

The long-awaited refurbishment of the Bass Museum in Miami Beach, which has been closed since May 2015, is scheduled for completion in the spring. The renovation will add 50 per cent more space.

The National South Sea Museum in China is slated to open in March in Tanmen, in the southern island province of Hainan. Its 15 exhibition halls will document China’s historic maritime Silk Route trade with Southeast Asia.