HOW THE GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM HAS HELPED PUT BILBAO ON THE MAP AS A CAPITAL FOR ARCHITECTURE.
By Harvé Dhillon
Just less than a century ago Bilbao was a small mining port, but the last two decades has seen various changes in Bilbao’s physical context revitalised by urban renewal schemes. The significant project of Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum in 1997 has been a transitional era of when Bilbao had been established as the regeneration phase for the capital of the Basque region.
Today in addition to Bilbao’s industrial and manufacturing sectors the city has seen a high influx of tourists who are simply not visiting the Museum, but also exploring the various public spaces, monuments and public realm, which all contribute to the mix of historical and contemporary architectural assets, such as the Puppy by Jeff Koons in front of the museum.
Harmoniously, the complex form and randomness of the metal curves create a flawless juxtaposition against the La Salve Bridge along the Nervión river contemplate the composition of Bilbao’s history in a complete postcard image. The Guggenheim has definitely been a fundamental economic advantage to the city, but moreover can be labelled as Frank Gehry’s “signature’ building due to its sheer creative and daring style.