1. Kunstakademie Düsseldorf
Getting inside the Arts Academy in Düsseldorf can prove slightly more difficult than gaining entry into one of the exclusive programs at the world-famous art institute. And with alumni like Gerhard Richter and former professors like Paul Klee and Joseph Beuys, that’s saying a lot! The academy’s motto, “For our students, only the best,” can be seen inside the building’s corridors, where white walls, lofty ceilings and arched foyers give the impression that everything is a canvas, clean and ready for your creation. Barren and monastic in its minimal aesthetic, the building’s interior is inspired by Marcel Duchamp’s ideas of minimalism and conceptualism. For those eager to get a peek beyond the exhibition areas open to the public, there are free tours (with registration only) for a week in February. Most of us will have to make do with admiring the Neo-Renaissance building from the outside, with its grand limestone facade filled with windows.