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'Oscars for Museums' honours Gehry's Fondation Louis Vuitton, Whitworth, Whitney, MOMA and more

The Frank Gehry-designed Fondation Louis Vuitton has been awarded the prize for ‘Best Architecture & Spatial Design’ at the 2015 Leading Culture Destinations Awards in London.

The 126,000sq ft (11,705sq m) museum, which houses Vuitton’s private collection, has become a popular Paris attraction since opening in October 2014. The €100m (US$132m, £80m) building won the prize for Gehry’s famous ‘glass cloud’ design.

The ceremony, which took place on 9 October in London, also honoured six of the ‘Best Emerging Culture Destination of the Year’; celebrating “brave and bold” museums and institutions around the world that opened within the last 18 months.

Among these winners was Manchester’s Whitworth Art Gallery. The museum re-opened in February following a £15m (US$23.4m, €21.5m) renovation by London-based firm McInnes Usher McKnight Architects. The building was on the shortlist of six for this year’s Stirling Prize, and in July won the 2015 Art Fund prize for Museum of the Year.

In the North America category, the judges recognised the impact of the Renzo Piano-designed Whitney Museum of American Art, which opened in May between New York’s High Line and the Hudson River.

In the other regional categories, Shigeru Ban’s Oita Prefectural Art Museum was judged the best emerging cultural destination in Asia; the Marrakech Museum for Photography and Visual Arts led the Africa category; Mexico’s Gran Museo del Mundo Maya de Mérida won for Central and South America; while the Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha was judged the best in the Middle East.

Mexico City was named the ‘Best Emerging City for Culture’, beating Manchester, Oslo, Palma de Mallorca and Venice.

Meanwhile, the event’s main prize, the ‘Leading Culture Destination of the Year’, was awarded to New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

The Leading Culture Destinations Awards – billed 'the Oscars for museums' – were founded to celebrate cultural institutions that offer the best visitor experiences through exhibitions and programming, architecture and design, shopping, dining and digital engagement.

This year’s judging panel was chaired by Gail Dexter Lord from cultural capital consultancy firm Lord Cultural Resources. She was joined by Justine Simons OBE, Head of Culture at the Mayor of London's office, fashion designer Neil Barrett, and ArtNet CEO Jacob Pabst.

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The Frank Gehry-designed Fondation Louis Vuitton has been awarded the prize for ‘Best Architecture & Spatial Design’ at the 2015 Leading Culture Destinations Awards in London. The 126,000sq ft (11,705sq m) museum, which houses Vuitton’s private collection, has become a popular Paris attraction since opening in October 2014. The €100m (US$132m, £80m) building won the prize for Gehry’s famous ‘glass cloud’ design. The ceremony, which took place on 9 October
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The €100m (US$132m, £80m) Fondation Louis Vuitton won the prize for Gehry’s famous ‘glass cloud’ design / Iwan Baan
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