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Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
Almost from the moment it opened in 1997, Gehry's Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, with its distinctive titanium curves and soaring glass atrium, was hailed as one of the most important buildings of the 20th century. Gehry's use of cutting-edge computer-aided design technology enabled him to translate poetic forms into reality. The resulting architecture is sculptural and expressionistic, with spaces unlike any others for the presentation of art. The museum is seamlessly integrated into the urban context, unfolding its interconnecting shapes of stone, glass and titanium on a 32,500-square-metre site along the Nervión River in the old industrial heart of the city.
Eleven thousand square metres of exhibition space are distributed over nineteen galleries. Ten of these galleries have a classic orthogonal plan and can be identified from the exterior by their stone finishes. Nine other irregularly shaped galleries present a remarkable contrast and can be identified from the outside by their swirling forms and titanium cladding.
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