43 Columns in Bilbao

I’ve just watched a fascinating programme on Sky Arts 1 about 43 Columns in Bilbao. Alhóndiga Bilbao was originally a wine warehouse but was renovated by French designer Philippe Starck and reopened in 2010 as a “Culture and Leisure Centre”, consisting of a cinema multiplex, a fitness centre, a library, showrooms, an auditorium, shops, and a restaurant. The Atrium of Cultures features 43 columns.

Made from a wide range of materials including marble, stone, wood, bronze and terracotta, these columns are really individual sculptures. The programme shows the making of the columns in specialist laboratories/workshops in Italy and Spain.

This link has a lot of information and photographs while this YouTube video gives a taster of the main programme. This Flickr site has photographs of all the columns.

I’ve never been to Bilbao, probably because I link it mentally with Barcelona and I’ve always been put off the latter by stories of pickpockets (plus I don’t like Gaudi). There are cheap flights from Manchester to Bilbao so I think it could be worth checking out. After all there is the Guggenheim as well, architecturally much better than Gaudi.


About notes to the milkman

I'm a printmaker based in the North West of England, living in Bolton and printing at Hot Bed Press in Salford. Please visit my website johnpindararts.weebly.com
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4 Responses to 43 Columns in Bilbao

  1. Karen says:

    You should go! It’s a million miles away from Barcelona! hardly anyone speaks English for a start, but I’ve rarely felt safer walking back to my hotel late at night – it’s the sort of city where at 10pm on a Friday night bars are packed with whole families, 2,3,4 generations rather than lager louts, and of course the amazing Guggenheim – quite gutted I deleted this program off my tivo now without watching

  2. Nancy Farmer says:

    bizarre! I wonder what they look like all in the same room together?… Shame about the modular orange ceiling and the fluorescent lights, but perhaps those don’t matter when you actually see it.

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