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Flickr User: Iker Merodio

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What the Guggenheim Should Consider Before Building in Helsinki

00:00 - 12 February, 2014
What the Guggenheim Should Consider Before Building in Helsinki , The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao / Frank Gehry. Image © Flickr User: Iker Merodio
The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao / Frank Gehry. Image © Flickr User: Iker Merodio

The Guggenheim is planning a new museum in Helsinki. The site is in the heart of the city, next door to the late 19th Century market hall and open-air market place, two minutes from Helsinki Cathedral. The project, therefore, has great landmark potential for the city. And many Finns are lured by this very potential, wanting to increase tourism and put their capital city more evidently on the world map. There has also been discussion in the country’s main newspaper Helsingin Sanomat about how Finns should welcome a more joyous and fun architecture.

Destination-creation and architecture as entertainment are certainly strong themes of our times. They were treated with great artistry by Frank Gehry with the Bilbao Guggenheim, opened in 1997. However, it’s important to remember that the Bilbao Guggenheim might best be considered a spectacular one-off. Mayors, politicians and world leaders have since sought, in perhaps too facile a way, to rebrand their cities and countries with iconic landmarks. There has been much talk of making cities “world class” through such architectural gestures, and yet much of this marketer’s fodder is wholly out of touch with what makes great architecture great.

AD Classics: The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao / Gehry Partners

01:00 - 1 September, 2013
AD Classics: The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao / Gehry Partners, © Flickr User: RonG8888
© Flickr User: RonG8888

Set on the edge of the Nervión River in Bilbao‭, ‬Spain, the Guggenheim Museum is a fusion of complex‭, ‬swirling forms and captivating materiality that responds to an intricate program and an industrial urban context‭. ‬With over a hundred exhibitions and more than ten million visitors to its recognition‭, ‬Frank Gehry‮’‬s Guggenheim Museum Bilbao not only changed the way that architects and people think about museums, but also boosted Bilbao's economy with its astounding success‭.‭ ‬In fact‭, ‬the phenomenon of a city‮’‬s transformation following the construction of a significant piece of architecture is now referred to as the‭ ‬‮“‬Bilbao Effect‭.‬‮”‬‭ ‬Twenty years on, the Museum continues to challenge assumptions about the connections between art and architecture‭ today.

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