Hola/Kaixo Bilbao!!

This year’s study trip was to Bilbao, in the Basque Country.

Before we rushed over to the Guggenheim, we took a boat trip from the centre of Bilbao to the sea.  This gave us a great perspective on the context of the iconic and bold gestures of recent development.  Whether Bilbao’s regeneration  has been appropriate or complete is arguable, but the desolation of the industrial outer fringe caused us to question the validity of tourism and architecture as tools for renewal.

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Those who braved the bracing breeze…..
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Fahim capturing the moment….
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Once we’d considered the context (context, context), we examined the Guggenheim Museum.  Despite Gehry’s recent profound commentary on contemporary architecture, as an object, as an urban junction and as a tectonic experience, we were impressed with his 1997 contribution.

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Chris gets into cladding……

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Dorota gazing through glazing….
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Audio commentary on Richard Serra’s super spatial ‘Matter of Time’

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Other Spanish delicacies included Philippe Starck’s Alhondiga, converted from a wine warehouse to create public space at the centre of the city.

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Offices Osakidetza/Coll-Barreu Arquitectos

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Sondika Airport/Santiago Calatrava

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