GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM BILBAO
Courtesy Kjeld Kjeldsen, Louisiana Museum
The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is the result of a unique collaboration between the Basque Country Administration, which finances and owns the project, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, which will operate the Museum and provide the core art collection. The Museum represents the first step in the redevelopment of the former trade and warehouse district along the South bank of the Nirvana River. Directly accessible from the business and historic districts of the city, the Museum marks the center of a cultural triangle formed by the Muse de Bells Arts, the University, and the Old Town Hall. A public plaza located at the entrance of the Museum encourages pedestrian traffic between the Museum and the Muse de Bells Arts, and between the Old City and the River Front. The Punt de lo Salve Bridge, which connects the 19th-century city center with outlying areas, passes over the site at its Eastern edge, lending to the Museum the significance of being a gateway to the city.
The main entrance to the Museum is through a large central atrium, where a system of curvilinear bridges, glass elevators and stair towers connects the exhibition galleries concentrically on three levels. A sculptural roof form rises from the central atrium, flooding it with light through glazed openings. The unprecedented scale of the central atrium, rising to a height of more than 50 meters above the river, is an invitation to monumental site-specific installations and special Museum events.
The Guggenheim Foundation required gallery spaces to exhibit a permanent collection, a temporary collection, and a collection of selected living artists. In response to this requirement, three distinct types of exhibition space were designed. The permanent collection is housed in two sets of three consecutively-arranged, square galleries, stacked at each of the second and third levels of the Museum. The temporary collection is housed in a dramatic elongated rectangular gallery that extends to the East, passing beneath the Punt de lo Salve Bridge and terminating in a tower on its far side. The collection of selected living artists is housed in a series of curvilinear galleries placed throughout the Museum, allowing the work to be viewed in relation to the permanent and temporary collections.
The major exterior materials of the Museum are Spanish limestone and titanium panels, with the rectangular shapes of the building clad in limestone and the more sculptural shapes of the building clad in titanium. Large glazed curtain walls provide views of the river and the surrounding city.
|Client:||Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation
Foundacion del Museo Guggenheim Bilbao
|Area:||28.500 square meters|
|Schedule:||Begin Design ö 1991
Begin Construction ö 1993
Completion ö 1997
|Frank O. Gehry
Robert G. Hale
|- Design Principal
- Project Principal
- Project Manager
- Project Architect
- Project Designer
- Project Team
|- CATIA Modeling|