© TEN Arquitectos
© TEN Arquitectos
© TEN Arquitectos

Guggenheim Museum Guadalajara

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The Guggenheim Guadalajara is composed of elements not likely to coexist in one architectural work: a global museum, a high-tech skyscraper, and a pristine, wild landscape. Situated at the very edge of the city of Guadalajara, the museum is the newest of the Guggenheim's global architectural destinations. The dramatic site-in a park at the end of the Avenida de Independencia, one of Guadalajara's main thoroughfares, where the plateau on which the city sits plunges two thousand feet into the Gorge of the Río Santiago-permeates the design of the project.

The museum consists of three main types of galleries, two constructed and one natural: traditional display spaces in the tower; an enormous, submerged exhibition hall; and the gorge, which provides a setting for large-scale landscape installations. The tower is visible from almost every point within the city, yet it is not a barrier: the structure floats above the ground, with the Avenida de Independencia running underneath. The concept of the tower emerged from a careful consideration of the typology of the museum, especially an analysis of the innovation and ambition that characterize a Guggenheim museum. Most major contemporary museums, though they may differ formally, offer a rather standard pattern of galleries ranging from small, intimate boxes to very large halls. The Guggenheim Museum Guadalajara features a kit of parts of such small, medium, large, and extra-large gallery modules. Although these may be assembled into numerous arrangements, only a vertical array provides the minimal footprint that preserves the city's park.

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