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4 pages/≈1100 words
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Visual & Performing Arts
Case Study
English (U.S.)
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History of Modern Architecture: The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (Case Study Sample)


Select two projects (building or complex) to prepare as a case study:
1. Concisely and synthetically describe the projects—in formal, infrastructural, contextual, technical, technological, structural, material terms, etc., as appropriate.
2. Analyze the projects—discuss its significance both to the discipline and to your interests.
Consideration should be given to conceptual, theoretical, social, political, or cultural contexts. But foremost your analysis should discuss in what ways the project is productive to your work—what are the key ideas, techniques, forms, and so on you will take note of and mobilize in your work, and why—and in what ways might it hold limitations for you.
3. Compare and contrast the projects—are they from the same period or movement, or from different moments? What is their relationship: peer projects (related ideas, positions, and/or aesthetics), genealogical projects (one derives from the other), or competing projects (from differing, and/or antagonistic positions)? What is their relationship for you: why have you chosen these two projects, and how do they connect or contrast productively for you? 
4. Develop a strategy for visual material. Pay attention to how the description is to become more than simple documentation—images and information are not to be simply illustrations to a description, but must be subjected to a process of analysis and retooling that develops a visual argument: their deployment must be designed. Use format to help you construct your argument—use it to structure and clarify your claims.
5. Give yourselves time to rework and edit the piece—this will be important. Remember, you are not simply describing the project, but discussing it: your aim is to produce an argument.
6. All sources used in the preparation of the assignment must be fully and accurately acknowledged in a bibliography and image credit list, and in footnotes where applicable (for all quotations, paraphrasing, references to key points in texts, or general references to texts).






History of Modern Architecture

The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is an exhibition hall of modern-day and contemporary art. It was planned by Frank Gehry, a Canadian-American architect. The museum is constructed adjacent to the river Nervion, which passes through the Bilbao town to the Atlantic Coast. The Guggenheim is among the many museums that work with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. The exhibition hall is comprised of perpetual and stay in exhibits of works by intercontinental artists. Among the architecture experts, the building is termed as the most important works finished in the year 1980 in the 2010 Worlds Architecture Survey. The museum signals moment in the architectural culture because it indicates instants of critics, education and the public view concerning the building. Why did Gehry create more space within the museum? The work of the museum is alleged to be Gehry’s new experimentation and directions with shapes and surfaces (The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation). The building consists of radically sculpted and organic contours with a shape that resembles a ship. The building has reflective panels that look like fish scales and echoes organic life, which recur in his design. The structure is exceptionally a product of the era’s technology due to computer recreations. These simulations make it possible to construct various shapes that designers in the past would have found incredible to construct. Gehry used pioneering computer-aided design expertise, which allows a building to have sculptural and expressionistic design that is spacious enough unlike other museum for exhibition of arts. Additionally, the museum is faultlessly unified into the urban setting hence unfolding its intersecting shape of pebble, crystal and titanium (Archiseek).

The museum has an exhibition space, which is spread over nineteen galleries, with some having an orthogonal design, which can be recognized externally by their pebble textures. The building has other irregular shaped galleries, which represent a remarkable contract identifiable externally by spinning forms and titanium cladding. The museum forms a significant collection of postwar European and American paintings and sculpture that compliments the New York foundations. Additionally, it represents an architectural landmark of innovative designs that provide a captivating backdrop for an art exhibition. Apart from being a remarkable monument built alongside a river, the museum is on a highway level thus quite more accessible and does not overcome the customs of the surroundings. The opening of the museum was part of a revival determination for Bilbao city to rebuild the city thus becoming a tourist attraction, which has drawn visitors from every part of the world. It is also contributed to growth in the region as a form of collaboration between the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and Basque government. The public square at the entry inspires the local tourist to visit the Guggenheim and other historical sites within the Region. Unlike other architecture of this type, the museum was constructed on budget and time (Bruggen). The museum is very spacious that it overwhelms the viewer. The construction of the museum has been criticized for its powerful aesthetic, which made it an awful place to display art. Gehry argument was that he intended to have a sublime space for the various artists

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