THE BEST DESIGN OF 1997

1 THE GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM, BILBAO The first great building of the 21st century has turned up a few years early. In the unspectacular Spanish Basque city of Bilbao, architect Frank Gehry has deposited a branch of New York City's Guggenheim Museum of Art that is a tribute to the power of that great contemporary idea, "Stop making sense." Beneath the cocked hats of its undulating towers, the most delightful architectural mind of our time has been everywhere at work. Without stooping to the twee historical quotation of so much postmodern design, Gehry has repudiated Modernist sanctity, symmetry and right-angled geometries in...

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