The Bilbao Effect In The North Of England

The Bilbao Effect In The North Of England
The Bilbao Effect In The North Of England

Video: The Bilbao Effect In The North Of England

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Video: Frank Gehry and the Bilbao Effect 2023, February
Anonim

This city experienced a sharp industrial expansion during the 19th century, but later the situation changed and the center of economic activity shifted to the south. In Middlesbrough there are no noticeable monuments of architecture and history (in 1801 the entire settlement consisted of four farms, where 25 people lived, and since then almost exclusively utilitarian structures have been built there). There are no mineral water springs or beautiful beaches, and the role of a ferrous metallurgy center and coal export port did nothing to decorate the landscapes around the city.

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And now, in the post-industrial era, Middlesbrough needed a tourist attraction that could revive the city's economy. To this end, an international competition was held in 2002 for the Middlesbrough Institute of Contemporary Art (MIMA) project and the square in front of it, which was won by Eric van Egeraat in collaboration with the West 8 landscape architecture studio. marked on one side by a new modern building. But in reality, the impression of the ensemble is not at all unambiguous. The area turned out to be much larger than the planned size, as the architects moved the Institute building closer to the development line. Instead of the usual asphalt and paving stones, its surface is sown with grass. The footpaths are paved with sheets of rust-colored oxidized steel, laid flush with the lawn. At one end of the elongated square stands a white sculpture by Claes Oldenburg, and at the other, West 8-designed fountains. The wonderful benches for rest of the townspeople deserve special mention.

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The façade of the Institute of Contemporary Art - essentially a local art gallery - can also be attributed to the section of the project related to the layout of the open space in the city. This is a curtain wall, behind which you can see an additional partition made of rusticated stone, suspended from the ceilings (!) In the lobby of the building. The main staircase cuts it diagonally, giving dynamism to the façade. Above it hangs a roof ledge supported by steel cables. But behind this eye-catching decoration are the usual rectangular white exhibition halls with a total area of ​​4,000 square meters. The building also houses a restoration workshop and a storehouse open to visitors. A small annex of white concrete, with walls adorned with stripes of shiny metal, houses a cafe, restaurant, administrative and educational premises. The rear façade of the gallery is an unadorned, neutral concrete surface, despite the fact that it faces not the backyard, but one of the central streets of Middlesbrough.

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The city is counting on 110,000 visitors a year for its gallery, thus hoping to replicate - on a much smaller scale - the effect of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. But Egeraat is not Gehry, and MIMA is not Guggenheim or MOMA. His collection of 3000 exhibits includes not only "full-fledged" paintings and sculptures, but also jewelry and textiles. How much all this will be able to attract tourists from large cities in Great Britain - and, moreover, from abroad - time will tell.

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