Aeroplane Building – Bilbao, Spain Trip #7

January 24, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Posted in itchy backside | 2 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , ,

An overnight coach took Itchyfingers from Barcelona to Bilbao, one of the must-go places during our visit to Spain. I think most people would associate Bilbao with its most famous museum, the Guggenheim.

The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is a museum of modern and contemporary
art designed by Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry

A sculpture of metal balls. This is Anish Kapoor’s High Tree and eyes, 2009

Opened in 1997, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao was an instant hit among
locals and tourists due to its unique design. It was hailed as the most
important building of its time 

Sited in the port town of Bilbao, the museum is intended to resemble a ship

The museum is a spectacular structure made of titanium, glass, and limestone.
Titanium was used probably cos it’s corrosion-resistant since it is located
next to river Nervión. This same metal is commonly used in aeroplanes…

 reflective titanium panels resemble fish scales, echoing the other organic
life forms that recur commonly in Gehry’s designs, as well as the river Nervión 

I always wonder how these masters managed to persuade their client to
accept their radical design…Well, I guess that’s why they are masters…
Despite being an architectural and construction challenge, the museum
was delivered on time and on budget…

Close up of the titanium facade. Looks like copper sheets! :p Though it
is supposed to be corrosion-resistant, but there seem to be rain water stains
forming on some parts…

Catch the interesting reflection at different angles…

This huge spider sculpture was an attention grabber! Titled, Maman (1999)
the spider sculpture is the work of artist Louise Bourgeois. Maman is the
familiar French word for Mother

At over 30 feet high and over 33 feet wide, the spider has a sac containing
26 marble eggs. Looks quite gross when you stand underneath the body… 😀

Another look at the giant arachnid 

We decided to walk to the end to take in the view of the whole museum
before it starts to rain again

View from the highway…Such an impressive architectural work of art!

You can get a clear perfect reflection of the museum across the river…

Itchyfingers are so jealous of the people of Spain. Not only they have their native master Antoni Gaudi producing architectural wonders like the world-renowned Sagrada Família and Casa Mila, they also have masters from overseas designing an iconic building like the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. Do you know that we nearly get a Frank Gehry’s masterpiece in Singapore? In case you didn’t know or have forgotten, when our Government opened its tender to build an Integrated Resort in Sentosa island, Frank Gehry was one of the architects who was invited to conceptualise and submit his design. I was really hoping that his design would be accepted so that Singapore can boast to have a Frank Gehry’s work. Unfortunately, for god-knows reason, our dear Government chose to award the project to the ugly and boring-looking design by Resort World. Maybe they cannot stomach something so radical and got a shock of their life? But see for yourself here to compare the two design. If thousands of tourists visit Bilbao just to experience and marvel at the unconventional and creative design of Guggenheim Museum by Frank Gehry, I think they would also visit Singapore for the same reason. I don’t think anyone has visited Singapore purely for its architectures…Just imagine what a great difference the waterfront will look like at Sentosa, especially at night! What a shame! 😦

This side is the entrance to the museum with the signage which is too small
here to see…It was already drizzling…

This gigantic flower doggy sculpture has become so famous that it is a must-see
landmark when you visit the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. This is Puppy
by Jeff Koons

Closer look at some of the flowers. These look familiar…We saw similar ones
at one of the Sentosa Flower Festival

The interior is very interesting with plenty of curve lines. Unfortunately, photography is not allowed. We managed to snap this before we realised it is strictly prohibited.

Because of the numerous wavy design, Computer Aided Three Dimensional
Interactive Application (CATIA) and visualizations were used heavily in the
structure’s design

One of the exhibit, The Matter of Time by Richard Serrain. These are
huge permanent installation of eight bent steel sculptures. Visitors
are free to explore around and within the mazelike structure. Ooops…we
forgot we are not supposed to take photos… :p

Tulips by Jeff Koons

We were curious about the design of the loos…Unfortunately, there is
nothing to shout about

Overall, Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is a masterpiece definitely worth a visit. However, Itchyfingers discovered something unusual on our way out…

These are steps leading to the main entrance of the gallery. Do you see
anything wrong here? 

The steps are leading up underneath this piece of titanium structure! So 
if someone were to walk at this end mindlessly without noticing, he might
just hit his head! Hahah!!! Wonder who made this blunder! Was it an oversight
by the master himself or his assistant? Apparently they realised this mistake
and added the railing to stop people walking here, but being Itchyfingers,
we had to illustrate our point by doing a demonstration…hahaha…

Also see related posts:
> House of Bones – Barcelona, Spain Trip #6
The Quarry – Barcelona, Spain Trip #5
A Visit to the Market – Barcelona, Spain Trip #4
A Bird’s Eye View – Barcelona, Spain Trip #3 
Inside the Construction Site- Barcelona, Spain Trip #2 
The World’s Most Beautiful Construction Site – Barcelona, Spain Trip #1 



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  1. Although I’m a bit of an old fashioned girl at heart this building looks amazing, great photos.

    • Yes. Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is worth a visit!

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