No building was more anticipated than Frank Gehry's stunning new museum in Bilbao, an industrial city in the Basque Country of northern Spain. Philip Johnson, the dean of American architects, declared it "the greatest building of our time," while Sverre Fehn, winner of the 1997 Pritzker Architecture Prize, called the building "fantastic." Gehry's use of nontraditional materials and his sensitivity to the environments of his buildings is legendary; his method of envisioning a building through semiautomatic drawings and handmade models is little known, but provides an immediate entry into his creative process. This book celebrates the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and details its design process, bringing to life one of Gehry's greatest achievements. Coosje van Bruggen, who has collaborated with Gehry on various architectural and art projects, documents the history of the Guggenheim Bilbao from conception through design and construction. With unique access to the architect and his studio, she uncovers scores of fascinating drawings and working photographs, published here for the first time.
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This handsomely illustrated account ... recounts the execution of this historic commission. It also celebrates the most successful attempt yet by Thomas Krens, director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, to turn his institution into a worldwide franchise. -- The New York Times Book Review, Martin Filler
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