There are some landmarks that have made an everlasting mark on architectural history with their uniqueness and path breaking concepts. One such masterpiece of the 20th century is the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao designed by Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry and located in Bilbao, Spain. Belonging to Guggenheim Foundation it is one of the largest museums in Spain.
The museum of modern and contemporary art is designed by Gehry in his daring and innovative signature style and is hailed as one of the most spectacular buildings of the century. It is considered by critics as an example of ‘decosntructivism’ highlighted by deconstruction of traditional forms, though Gehry himself is reluctant to associate with the style.
The building is prominent with its curved structures, stone massing and glass curtain walls on the exterior that are designed around a large, well-lit atrium covered by a huge skylight. Owing to its shape the atrium was named by Gehry as ‘the Flower’. Curved walkways give access to the three levels of the museum. There are around 20 exhibition galleries all designed with interesting play of volume and perspective leaving the visitor with an amazing experience without overwhelming them.
The museum is located along the banks of the Nervion River in the old industrial heart of the city and seamlessly merges with the urban surroundings. It is based on 350, 00 sq.mt area with approximately 11, 000 sq.mt. area dedicated for exhibition space. The museum houses permanent and visiting exhibitions of artists across the world and is one of the most visited museums by art-lovers. It has more than achieved the aim for which it was opened and that was to revive the economic condition of Bilbao.
The uniqueness of the Museum is that it could attain the rare feat of appealing to the sensibilities of critics, academics, and the general public at once. This iconic structure is an example of Gehry’s mastery over deftly blending classical forms with unconventional ones and making them visually appealing! An inspirational structure for generations to come indeed!