Case Study 121 The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao 1997

Architect: Frank Gehry

The Guggenheim Museum is perhaps the most outstanding building of the twentieth century and appropriate that it should be completed at the century's very end. The invention of the computer helped to provide the very complicated drawings for its construction. It is very fitting that it should have been built in Spain where Gaudi produced many intriguing free-shaped buildings and would no doubt have been fascinated by the virtuosity of the computer.

The interior stairs of the Guggenheim are utilitarian, but there are three very imposing stairs externally. First, a flight which starts at the free-standing tower and widens as its descends to the promenade which separates the lake between the building and the river. At the end of the promenade a further route leads to another perspective flight which narrows to the doors of the restaurant. Finally on the other side of the building another stair

Siteplan Guggenheim
Figure 12. la First Floor Plan
Figure 12.1b Riverfront

sweeps down to the main entrance of the gallery. All these steps are planned to take the large numbers of visitors that flock to the museum.

Bilbao Guggenheim Museum Staircase Helix

Figure 12.1c Steps leading to tower

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