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Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

50 projects for a better future - celebrating five decades of projects making a difference

Project 6 of 11
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Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

The regenerative potency of Frank Gehry’s masterpiece museum in Bilbao has altered the language of urban development, giving rise to the phrase ‘Guggenheim effect’. Delivered on time, within budget and generating nearly 200m for the Basque region since its 1997 opening, the museum is rightly heralded as an example of project management to aspire to. Success on this scale may have seemed unlikely, with a visionary architect at the helm and a complex blend of local and provincial government and private sector partners. However, political continuity over the course of the project and, in Gehry, an architect who listened to the client proved a winning combination.

“The greatest building of our time.” – Architect Philip Johnson

Over one million people visited the museum in 2019

33,000 titanium panels are fitted to the building’s exterior

£55m construction cost