I love visiting museums – especially ones that are architecturally significant and which periodically have new exhibits. The Arab World Institute (l’Institute du Monde Arabe in French) in Paris is an amazing museum and one of my favorites.
The institute was built in 1980, and while I find most architecture from the 80s quite bland, this building is an exception. Metallic screens in the windows control light entering the building (as was often seen in Islamic architecture). It’s pretty amazing to see the screens adjust every hour or so.
I returned to the Arab World Institute in January 2012 as I wanted to see the Jameel Prize 2011 exhibit This interesting exhibit highlighted the works of contemporary artists and designers. The prize aims to raise awareness of the interaction between traditional Islamic arts and contemporary practice. The exhibit was held inside a temporary structure near the museum designed by the architect, Zaha Hadid.
There are excellent views of the Notre Dame from the rooftop terrace and the museum has a bookstore, restaurant and two cafes. Fore more information on this institute, click here.