We visited Bilbao on our first study trip a week or so ago, and in Bilbao sits Frank Gehry's colossal specimen of sheer architectural perfection, the Guggenheim Museum, or more commonly known as "the GOOG," among the 23 of us. As is the case with most every passerby, I was astounded by the design, and especially the presence it commands. With so many wild curves expressed across both titanium and glass, my initial impression was Dr. Seuss realized...and it was awesome. The inside spaces created and the fluidity of the dialogue between the interior/exterior space were also very impressive and well handled. Most impressive to me about Gehry's work, however, was the jump start effect it had on Bilbao. Pre-Guggenheim, Bilbao was the average Spanish city, at best, moving along and growing slowly, at best. Post-Guggenheim, Bilbao has caught fire and is growing rapidly. Gehry's architecture revamped the culture, attracted inhabitants, and most importantly, brought in more contributing architects and artists.
New York's also reaped the transformational benefits of a Goog. We've gotta wonder, who's next? PASS THE GOOG!