GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM TOUR PART TWO, BILBAO, 2017

Here we are, talking a little bit more about the Guggenheim in Bilbao. There are so many thing to know about this amazing museum, let’s discover something more about it. If you have miss the article that we made before, click here. Enjoy!

THE MUSEUM EXTERIOR
If you go to Bilbao, you will see that, despite the Museum’s exuberant appearance, it is carefully adjusted in relation to the buildings, it is surround it”, commented Frank O. Gehry in conversations about his work. The architect devised a building whose entire perimeter could be walked around, in order that the different appearances that the four facades adopted and their interaction with neighbouring urban elements could be fully appreciated. Thanks to the existing drop between the city and the estuary, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao appears titanesque from the north, the side where curved titanium metal forms prevail. In contrast, on the other side, despite the strong presence of the external forms of the atrium, Frank O. Gehry managed to maintain harmony with the orthogonal volumes of the buildings opposite thanks to the difference in height between the estuary and the city, the predominance of cubic masses on this particular facade and the use of limestone cladding, whose ochre shade is similar to nearby buildings.

THE MUSEUM INTERIOR
As a early as Ancient times, Greek and Roman aristocrats commissioned sculptures and paintings to prestigious artists which they then showed off their friends. It was precisely the discovery of these antiquities that spurred the nobility of the Renaissance to start off their own collections that were privately exhibited in palaces and exempt of any method of classification. In the late 16th century a nobleman named Cosme I de Medici conceived one of the first Museum of the world using rooms in the Palace of the Uffizi to display his art collection. In the following centuries, the Enlightenment and the French Revolution introduced a decisive element into the essence of museums: the universalisation of art as patrimony that was within the reach of everyone, in institutions financed by the state and geared towards popular instruction. The fact that the first great public museum were in former stately homes meant that many galleries constructed throughout the 20th century inherited this monumental characteristic and were structured around a series of rooms where works were ordered in chronological and geographical order. Despite the fact that this model still survives, the functionalist architects of the early 20th century were already fighting against this departmentation by improving on the spacial flow and versatility of exhibition spaces, a cause which Frank Lloyd Wright contributed to with his spiraling museum project for Solomon R.Guggenheim Museum in New York, where works could be viewed whilst descending a gently sloping ramp. The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, with its radial structure around the atrium, delves deeper into innovative idea and constitutes the final chapter of this evolution towards a museum unshackled by primitive concepts.

Let’s discover the heart of the museum and the exhibition spaces on the next article! Stay tuned!

G.F

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