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Apollo Awards 2023

Museum Opening of the Year

6 November 2023

Buffalo AKG Art Museum
June 2023

After a three-year closure, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery has become the Buffalo AKG Art Museum. Designed by OMA and Cooper Robertson, a new, glazed structure on one side provides flexible gallery spaces, giving the museum freedom to display its outstanding collections of modern and contemporary art in all their variety while keeping the visitor rooted within the surrounding parkland.

View of Common Sky (2022) by Olafur Eliasson and Sebastian Behmann of Studio Other Spaces in the Ralph Wilson Town Square at the Buffalo AKG Art Museum. Photo: Marco Cappelletti; courtesy Buffalo AKG Art Museum, OMA, Studio Other Spaces and Cooper Robertson

Gainsborough’s House, Sudbury
November 2022

After a £10.5m redevelopment by architects ZMMA, the Suffolk house in which Gainsborough was born is now able to tell the story of the artist’s development as never before. A striking new building in local brick at the end of the garden offers permanent gallery space for loan exhibitions, freeing up the house itself for more intimate displays.

Gainsborough’s House, Sudbury. Photo: © Hufton + Crow

Gallery of the Royal Collections, Madrid
June 2023

Concrete and granite collide in the new building designed to show off works from the Spanish Royal Collections. The project has taken 17 years to complete, but now visitors can appreciate the riches of one of the world’s most important collections of Flemish tapestries, as well as exceptional baroque art and an array of royal carriages.

A display at the Gallery of the Royal Collections, Madrid. Photo: Patrimonio Nacional

International African American Museum, Charleston
June 2023

Built on the site of a former slave harbour, this museum represents the most concerted effort to date by an American institution to present Black history in a truly international perspective. The ambitious building, designed by Henry N. Cobb with Curt Moody, is alive to the complexities of this story and gives the curators great freedom in telling it.

International African American Museum, Charleston. Photo: © Sahar Coston-Hardy/Esto

National Portrait Gallery, London
June 2023

Architect Jamie Fobert has transformed the space within the NPG, created new galleries, punched doors through walls and relocated the entrance to give the gallery a new plaza in front. It’s not just an intelligent redesign – it has also, somehow, given a slightly depressed part of London a burst of energy and fun.

The new forecourt of the National Portrait Gallery in London. Photo: Olivier Hess

Sydney Modern, Art Gallery of New South Wales
December 2022

In taking on the Sydney Modern project, SANAA architects faced major geographical constraints – a steep embankment, a disused fuel tank from the Second World War and the foundations of a multi-lane highway. Yet they have managed to fashion a startlingly light and welcoming building for this unlikely setting, in which works by women and First Nation artists are given particular prominence.

Aerial view of the Art Gallery of New South Wales’s new Sydney Modern extension designed by SANAA and completed in 2022. Photo: © Iwan Baan

The Shortlists | Artist of the Year  | Exhibition of the YearDigital Innovation of the Year | Book of the Year | Acquisition of the Year