Blognotes from a photographer life...

Sep 23, 2010


In 1977 I wandered the roads of Spain with friends on a old Renault 4. When we sow the industrial-smog-blackened roofs of Bilbao we just kept going: it was a dreadful nothingness. In 1997 the local government, induced by the industrial crisis, had invited Guggenheim to open their European landmark museum in the city. In 1998 I came to shoot a story on positive change: how the dreamy shapes of Frank Ghery were attracting visitors, educated ones. It was incredible how this single landmark was already redefining the perception of this unknown industrial city to the whole continent.
Today I'm back here, to shoot a story on a city that did not stop at that successful step but kept investing on art and architecture as a meaning of development. And I'm astonished again. So many famous architects have been invited to work here that is difficult even to give a serious panorama. Spain has changed as a whole, it's true, and Spanish people are perfect Europeans nowadays, but this city is really special.
Just think of the Alhondiga. An old building whose redevelopment as a public space was assigned to a visionary like Philippe Starck. An amazing concentrate of dreamy design and useful utilities: a pool on the roof (transparent from below the building) with a gigantic open air platform that becomes a beach in summer; a mediateca large like a whole museum; a gymnasium as wide as a stadium, and so on..
Among so many negative stories of bad government and corruption is refreshing to see something so promising and enriching for the people. If, as I said in a previous post, Europe is a living museum, this place is the avantgarde of it!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Andrea,
    for your nice photo and more to describe so positivily the city I´m living in.