July 23, 2024 | 11:36


Guggenheim Urdaibai: A €130 million project awaiting the green light

Miguel Castillo

June 19, 2023 | 9:27 a.m.

It is estimated that the ambitious expansion of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, in two different venues located in urdaibai, could have an approximate cost of 130 millones de euros. However, the future of this project is still on the analysis table, awaiting the final decision of the Board of Trustees of the Guggenheim Bilbao Foundation.

A Budget Breakdown

According to the study carried out by the architecture firm Cooper Robertson, the investment required to materialize this project is divided into three main categories: 80 million euros for the construction of the two headquarters, 40 million for equipment, fees and licences, and between 7 and 8 million for the development of the project itself.

This expansion would take place in the old Dalia factory in Gernika and in the Murueta shipyards. The New York studio, in charge of this report, already worked on the expansion project 12 years ago, on that occasion for a single office in Pedernales/Sukarrieta.

A Project in Analysis

The director of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Juan Ignacio Vidarte, pointed out that the detailed information on the study was presented to the members of the Board of Trustees on June 14. However, the Board of Trustees did not make any decision, so the expansion of the museum is still in the analysis phase.

The participation of the Basque Government is a key element in the decision of the Guggenheim Bilbao Board of Trustees. Vidarte highlighted that, without the agreement of the Basque Government, the project could not advance to the next phase which would be the call for an international architectural competition.

Looking to the future

The update of the project, carried out by Cooper Robertson, confirms the economic estimates that were used 12 years ago, although adapted to the new locations. This data is promising, however, Vidarte emphasizes that, until the Board of Trustees gives its approval, the project will remain in the study phase.

This expansion project for the Guggenheim Bilbao is undoubtedly one of the most ambitious in the world of art and culture in the Basque Country. However, it remains to be seen if this dream will come true or if it will remain in the pipeline waiting for the green light. Even with the uncertainties, one thing is certain: the final decision will mark a before and after in the cultural history of Urdaibai.

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