The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
is a museum of modern and contemporary art, designed by Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry, and located in Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain.
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation selected Frank Gehry as the architect, and its director, Thomas Krens, encouraged him to design something daring and innovative.The curves on the exterior of the building were intended to appear random; the architect said that "the randomness of the curves are designed to catch the light".The interior "is designed around a large, light-filled atrium with views of Bilbao's estuary and the surrounding hills of the Basque country". The atrium, which Gehry nicknamed The Flower because of its shape, serves as the organizing center of the museum.
When the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao opened to the public in 1997, it was immediately hailed as one of the world's most spectacular buildings in the style of Deconstructivism(although Gehry does not associate himself with that architectural movement),a masterpiece of the 20th century.Architect Philip Johnson described it as "the greatest building of our time",while critic Calvin Tomkins, in The New Yorker, characterized it as "a fantastic dream ship of undulating form in a cloak of titanium," its brilliantly reflective panels also reminiscent of fish scales.Herbert Muschamp praised its "mercurial brilliance" in The New York Times Magazine.The Independent calls the museum "an astonishing architectural feat".The building inspired other structures of similar design across the globe.
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