Guggenheim Museum Bilbao - Research assignment

Essay by G.J.IJunior High, 8th gradeA, August 2004

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Guggenheim Museum Bilbao


Frank O.Gehry


Groundbreaking: 22nd October 1993

Public Opening

Style Of Architecture

The Guggenheim Museum is a post-modernist piece of avant-garde architecture. It is difficult to categorise because of its unusual and unique shape. Some people would even classify it as a sculpture.


The highest point on the Guggenheim Museum is the glass atrium that is 57m high. The roof of the building stands 34.5m above ground. Level 4 is 29m high whilst level 3 is 22 metres high, level 2 is 15m and level 1 is 7m above ground level.


The three main materials used in the construction of the Guggenheim Museum were titanium, Spanish limestone and glass. The titanium forms a cladding around the steel frame of the towers on the building. Limestone also clads parts of the building and was used for the stairs and paths around the building. The glass was used to make the 57m high atrium in the centre of the building.

Chapter 3 - Function

The Guggenheim Musuem displays artwork from The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and is one of a handful of buildings that truly interacts with art. It contains galleries of classical proportion and some of more unconventional shapes. The museum contains 19 galleries over 4 levels, one of the the galleries stretches for 130m and is over 25m in width however the incredible thing about it is the fact that it is entirely free of columns, allowing it to display unusually large works of art and sculpture.

Visitors are able to reach different levels of the museum by circling the glass atrium. The atrium, along with additional skylights, provides natural sunlight to the building, including channelled beams which reach over two floors.

The titanium cladding and ships prows on the museum reflect Bilbao's...