The Guggenheim effect

Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum celebrates its first anniversary in October.

In the year since the doors first opened, the gigantic glass and titanium building designed by Californian architect Frank O. Gehry has attracted more visitors than the population of the city which it has helped to place firmly on the world cultural map.

Iconic, breathtaking architecture funded by the public purse requires bravery, risk taking and faith in the face of often hostile political opposition. But the rewards can be immense. Just ask the people of Bilbao who have seen their city transformed by one building.

The city is celebrating the tenth anniversary of the opening of the Guggenheim Bilbao, a twisting, titanium-plated masterpiece of curving forms, designed by Frank Gehry, which has been called ‘the greatest building of our time’ by the famous US architect Philip Johnson.

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