Architectural Photography Bilbao

The Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, photographed at dusk
The Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao. Photo by Robert Mullan

Architectural Photography Bilbao

Mention Architectural Photography in Bilbao and one building springs to mind: the Guggenheim Museum. https://www.guggenheim-bilbao.eus/en/It has become the city’s ‘avatar’ since it opened nearly 20 years ago.

I was lucky, it had rained most of the day but by evening the weather shaped up for a nice twilight shot. It was crucial that I used the small window between sunset and darkness to get the effect I wanted. You can see many of my ‘golden-hour’ images here: https://www.robertmullan.com/Architecture/The-Built-Eviornment

If ever a building turned a struggling industrial city into a cultural metropolis it was this one. In fact, you could it say the expression ‘the Guggenheim effect’ was coined because of it. Designed by ‘starchitect’ Frank Gehry, it changed the fortunes of this Basque city. The region was once known as a former powerhouse of heavy industries like shipbuilding and coal and steel production.

Failing to embrace modern technology, one by one, outdated dockyards and warehouses had to close. Workers and their families deserted the city, leaving in their wake a ‘rust belt’ of abandoned factories and shipyards. Passionate art lovers were thin on the ground in Bilbao, so when plans for the ambitious cultural project were revealed, many assumed it was a bad joke. It was no joke! In all, 20 million visitors have contributed to giving the city a new life. The Guggenheim effect, also known as the Bilbao effect, has turned into the symbol of how art and culture can boost the struggling economy.

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