Quiz: Take an Architecture Adventure

Can you identify this iconic building from our cryptic clues?

By Google Arts & Culture

Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (2017-09-19) by TrashhandGuggenheim Bilbao

Clue 1

Opened to the public in 1997, this gravity-defying building is one of the most important architectural creations of the late 20th century. Instantly iconic, it’s won a number of awards including ‘Modern World Wonder Award’ by Traveler magazine, ‘Outstanding Structure Award’ by IABSE and ‘European Museum of the Year’. It’s also been named one of the world’s most beautiful buildings by Lonely Planet. 

Clue 2

The building was designed by Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry. Throughout his career, Gehry was influenced by surrealist and cubist artists like Picasso, Marcel Duchamp and Giorgio Morandi. He was also inspired by Renaissance and Baroque sculptors like Michelangelo and Bernini. 

These surrealist and sculptural influences can clearly be seen in Gehry’s work. Many of his buildings, including our mystery structure, have gravity-defying designs, curved and fragmented silhouettes and beautifully molded exteriors. 

Clue 3

The building was designed to help revitalize and regenerate the rundown port area of its eponymous city, and added an estimated $160 million added to the local economy in just 12 months following the building’s completion. Since 1997, it’s believed the gallery has helped to bring an extra $3.5bn into the region.

Puppy (1992) by Jeff KoonsGuggenheim Bilbao

Clue 4

The museum specializes in large scale, immersive exhibitions, giving visitors a unique experience that’s impossible to replicate. You’ll find a large number of well known modern artists in the museum’s collection, including Jeff Koons, whose huge outdoor piece, Puppy, is on display at the building’s entrance. 

The Matter of Time (1994/2005) by Richard SerraGuggenheim Bilbao

Other famous artists in the museum’s collection include Mark Rothko, Anselm Kiefer, Jenny Holzer and Richard Serra. 


Clue 5

The building is made from limestone and glass, and clad in 33,000 sheets of titanium. This metallic finish gives the structure a modern, organic feel while reflecting the light, colors and landscape of the city that surrounds it. The titanium skin has become one of the building’s most iconic features. Gehry used a similar technique when designing the Walt Disney Concert Hall in LA in 1991.

Have you guessed which spectacular structure we’re talking about yet?

Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (1994/1997) by Frank GehryGuggenheim Bilbao

Answer: The Guggenheim, Bilbao

Credited with reviving Bilbao’s rundown port, and bringing thousands of euros of tourism revenue into the Basque Region, The Guggenheim Bilbao is one of the most successful regeneration projects in Europe. Part of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, it’s one of the largest museums in Spain. 

Every year, the museum welcomes well over a million visitors. These culture vultures are able to enjoy a wide range of exhibitions and installations, many of which are specially designed for the museum.

These interactive and immersive experiences have given the Guggenheim a reputation as one of the world’s most exciting galleries and made it a must see destination for all lovers of modern art. 

Click and drag, and use the arrows, to take a look around to explore the exterior of this iconic building.  

Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (1994/1997) by Frank GehryGuggenheim Bilbao

Learn more about the Guggenheim Musem Bilbao here.

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The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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