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 museum was inaugurated on 18 October 1997 by King Juan Carlos I of Spain, with an exhibition of 250 contemporary works of art. Built alongside the Nervion River, which runs through the city of Bilbao to the Cantabrian Sea, it is one of several museums belonging to the Solomon R.
Guggenheim Foundation features permanent and visiting exhibits of works by Spanish and international artists. It is one of the largest museums in Spain. It was ranked 73rd on the list of most-visited art museums in 2020.
The museum is seamlessly integrated into the urban context, unfolding its interconnecting shapes of stone, glass, and titanium on a 32,500-square-meter site along the Nervión River in the ancient industrial heart of the city; while modest from street level, it is most impressive when viewed from the river. With a total of 24,000 m2, of which 11,000 m2 are dedicated to exhibition space, it had more exhibition space than the three Guggenheim collections in New York and Venice combined at that time.
The 11,000 m2 of exhibition space is distributed over nineteen galleries, ten of which follow a classic orthogonal plan that can be identified from the exterior by their stone finishes. The remaining nine galleries are irregularly shaped and can be identified from the outside by their swirling organic forms and titanium cladding. The largest gallery measures 30 meters wide and 130 meters long. In 2005, it housed Richard Serra’s monumental installation The Matter of Time, which Robert Hughes dubbed “courageous and sublime”.
One of the most admired works of contemporary architecture, the building has been hailed as a “signal moment in the architectural culture”, because it represents “one of those rare moments when critics, academics, and the general public were all completely united about something”, according to architectural critic Paul Goldberger. The museum was the building most frequently named as one of the most important works completed since 1980 in the 2010 World Architecture Survey among architecture experts.
The museum was opened as part of a revitalization effort for the city of Bilbao. Almost immediately after its opening, the Guggenheim Bilbao became a popular tourist attraction, drawing visitors from around the globe. In its first three years, almost 4 million tourists visited the museum, helping to generate about €500 million in economic activity. The regional council estimated that the money visitors spent on hotels, restaurants, shops, and transport allowed it to collect €100 million in taxes, which more than paid for the building cost.
According to Wikipedia