Guggenheim Museum BilbaoSpain | May 28, 2010 | No discussion yet
The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Basque is a museum built of modern and contemporary design. It is the work of the famous architect Frank O Gehry. It is truly a remarkable example of architecture in the 20th century. This great piece of architecture acts as an audacious layout and innovative design for the art which is exhibited within its walls. It has a dedicated exhibition space of 11,000 square meters out of 24,000 square meters.
According to HRH King Juan Carlos I, it is the “Best building of the 20th century”. Philip Johnson, famous architect of the same era says, “The greatest building of our time”. This holds true that it is unbelievably the best form of architecture in this era.
The building can be truly recognized with its twisted, curved lines and a series of interconnecting volumes, they are of limestone- coated orthogonal shapes while some others are of more organic volumetry clad in a metallic titanium skin. These are linked with glass curtain walls for a truly remarkable transparency.
The sinuous stone, glass, and titanium curves are designed with the aid of computers, owning to their mathematical complexity. To match the perfectness of the sandstone façade of the Deusto University, limestone was chosen for its different colors. The glass walls are mounted on a complex metal structure, which could be made due to technological advances. The glass used to make the walls in the Museum is treated to protect the interior from heat and radiation, while light is passed through the entire building complex. The “fish like” titanium panels, hugging the building are almost half millimeter thick. The architect has sought a tactile and beautiful aspect with the rough finish of the building.
In the heart of the Museum lies the atrium, measuring almost 50 m in height, with enormous windows and serves as a place for relaxation, arrival, and orientation for the visitor. The Museum’s exhibition space is distributed over three levels, with a total of 20 galleries. Non – exhibition places include an auditorium (seating place for 300), a store, 2 cafes, and a bookshop.
The Museum connects to the city’s classical district, also known as the “Ensanche”. It is directly accessed from the historical and shopping areas. It is also surrounded by attractive walkways and squares which give shape to the neighborhood Amandoibarra. The Museum can be approached from different directions by foot.
In the Museum
The auditorium, restaurant, store, bookshop and the administration block can be accessed by the all the entrances of the Museum and as well as from anywhere inside the building. This means that they can independently form a part of the nightlife of the city and need not wait for the Museum to open and close.
The three floors of the gallery are all interconnected through the atrium are suspended walkways from the ceiling, glass lifts, and stairs. The galleries are of different shapes and sizes. Some common ones are rectangular, which can be identified because of stone cladding. They all have skylights, which are a source of natural light. Large format artworks are housed in a special gallery measuring 30m in width and 130m in length. This gallery is truly amazing, when seen from outside. It looks as if it is embracing the La Salva Bridge.
You can find a close harmony between the architectural design and the content of each gallery. This lends a kind of orientation to the various artworks.
The design was solely made possible with titanium and fluid forms, by the use of 3D computer design program. Catia, which was initially used by the aerospace industry to project curved surfaces with finite numerical control. Every point of the model’s curved surface was digitally processed.
As a whole, Frank Gehry’s design creates a spectacular and an enormous visible structure which acts as a sculptural backdrop of the Estuary, the La Salva Bridge, the buildings in the centre of Bilbao city and the slopes of Mt. Artxanda.
One must visit this amazing piece of architecture!