The Turner Contemporary opened in Margate in April 2011
Margate's landmark Turner Contemporary gallery is one of just 58 buildings in Europe to be chosen for a prestigious architecture award.
The gallery, which opened last April at a cost of £17.5m, was recently hailed as "astonishingly beautiful" by historian and broadcaster Simon Schama.
Now it has been awarded by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), in recognition of its architectural excellence.
Designed by David Chipperfield Architects in London, it is just one of two buildings in the South East to be honoured.
Just 49 structures in the UK and a further nine in the rest of the EU won the gong.
Now it has been put forward for the RIBA Stirling Prize, for the best building of the year.
More than 500,000 people have now visited the gallery, which has boasted the works of Rodin and local artist Tracey Emin among its exhibits.
Speaking today, RIBA President Angela Brady said: “For nearly fifty years the RIBA Awards have reflected the changing state of British architecture and revealed emerging design trends.
"What really stands out is that even in times of austerity, we can still deliver amazingly clever, high quality buildings that reflect the needs of today and enhance our daily lives."
Other buildings in Kent were given an RIBA Downland award - regional awards for the South and South East.
These include the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury; The Marquis Hotel & Restaurant, Dover; the Rocksalt Restaurant, Folkestone; Maidstone Museum East Wing, Maidstone.