The lead article in the October 2004 issue of Architectural Record, devoted to contemporary museums, noted that museums continue to proliferate across the international landscape, leading to the conclusion that, post-Bilbao, every municipality seems to want a smash. Certainly, following the opening of Frank Gehry's Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, museums gained a newfound cache among architects and clients. The mission and purpose of the museum is rapidly evolving: museums today are frequently more than repositories for historical art: they can be research centers, memorials, contemporary galleries, or site-specific artworks in themselves. New Museums documents the best of new museum design and features 27 projects in 13 countries in Europe, the United States, Israel, and Japan. The architects represented are among the most renowned practitioners in the world today; in addition to those mentioned above, they include van Berkel + Bos, Santiago Calatrava, Zaha Hadid, Kengo Kuma, and Alvaro Siza, as well as lesser-known, talented designers such as Zvi Hecker in Israel and Diener & Diener in Switzerland. precedents as well as current themes relevant to museum design: the museum as a neutral container, its role in placing art in context, the museum as an addition to an existing building, and as a distinct work of art. drawings, and a project description.