This summer, several major museum and heritage site projects will complete construction and open to the public in North America and the UK. Our researchers are tracking over 1,000 capital projects globally from conception to opening day. Below, we highlight some of the most anticipated openings in summer 2023.
Museum openings in North America:
International African American Museum
The International African American Museum (IAAM) opened on 4 July 2023 in Charleston, South Carolina, USA. This $100 million USD project was 20 years in development. Located at Gadsden's Wharf, a former slave trading port, IAAM will educate visitors on the economic, political, and cultural contributions of enslaved Africans and free blacks in America and worldwide. In addition to nine galleries, the Henry Cobb-designed museum includes a state-of-the-art genealogy and ancestry resource centre and the African Ancestors Memorial Garden.
Chinese Canadian Museum
The Chinese Canadian Museum opened in time for Canada Day on 1 July 2023. The Chinese Canadian Museum explores the history and culture of the Chinese Canadian community. The project was first announced in 2017, and we've been tracking it as an opportunity for several years. The new museum is housed within the 21,000-square-foot Wing Sang Building. The red brick building is the oldest structure in Vancouver’s Chinatown, built in 1889 by Chinese merchant Yip Sang. The new museum opened with exhibitions exploring Chinese Canadian migration from the 18th century to the present day and the 1923 Canadian Chinese Exclusion Act.
Buffalo AKG Art Museum
After 22 years of planning, the Buffalo AKG Art Museum opened on 15 June 2023 in Buffalo, New York, USA. The $160 million USD expansion added new buildings designed by OMA and Olafur Eliasson. The museum now equals the Whitney Museum of American Art and Guggenheim Museum in size.
Museum openings in the U.K.:
On 1 July 2023, the Young V&A reopened to the public after a four-year, £13.5 million project to overhaul the site and visitor experience. The Grade II-listed building’s interior has been transformed to engage the interests of modern children and families instead of its previous nostalgic exploration of children’s history. The museum will launch its summer programme with a weekend-long Summer Festival event in early July. The Summer Festival will offer large-scale physical installations, events and workshops for children and families.
National Portrait Gallery
After completing its £35.5 million east wing refurbishment, the National Portrait Gallery reopened on 22 June 2023. The ‘Inspiring People: Transforming our National Portrait Gallery’ project expanded the exhibition space, allowing a complete redisplay of its collection in a lighter setting. The gallery reopened with exhibitions showing works by Yevonde (part of a project aiming to increase the representation of women in the Gallery’s Collection).
Aviva Studios -- Factory International
After a last-minute name change, Aviva Studios – Factory International (formerly Factory International) opened to the public on 30 June 2023. The landmark £241 million multi-purpose cultural venue, from the team behind the Manchester International Festival, comprises a complex including a new building designed by OMA. The site will specialise in large-scale performances and exhibitions, and its inaugural program includes vast installations by Yayoi Kusama and various theatre productions and performances.
To find out more about the teams who helped to deliver these projects, see our Opportunities.