In 1997 a spectacular limestone, glass and titanium building would transform a Spanish Basque port, better known for manufacturing, shipping, and commerce, into a city of culture almost overnight. The building of course was Frank Gehry’s masterpiece Guggenheim Museum. The museum would be the catalyst for some of the most impressive examples of modern urban architecture. We take a little peek at some of the stunning architecture of Bilbao.
Images Aherrero (bottom) Laura Manning (top)
It seems funny to think that a awe inspiring building such as the Guggenheim, which had the rare distinction of iconic modern structures of being universally hailed by professional critics and public alike, actually had Gehry in a bit of tizz about its merits when he first saw it on completion. Here he is quoted in Vanity Fair August 2010:
“You know, I went there just before the opening and looked at it and said, ‘Oh, my God, what have I done to these people?’ It took a couple of years for me to start to like it, actually.”
Images Laura Manning (top) Jason Paris (bottom)
Many visitors first glimpse of Bilbao’s architectural delights will be in the shape of the Santiago Calatrava’s airport terminal. It has acquired the nickname of “La Paloma” (the Dove) because of its stylish sleek design which looks like a pair of wings.
Calatrava also designed Zubizuri Bridge (translated from Basque means White Bridge) which uses concrete and white steel in creating a dreamy looking curvy footbridge which looks particularly stunning when seen at night.
Inevitably in terms of contemporary revamps there had to be a Norman Foster construction in the city and in Bilbao it’s the Metro development complete with distinctive glass canopy entrance.