Part two: Getting started on the idea - Guggenheim museum Bilbao / Frank Gehry
Updated: Apr 15
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Getting started on the idea = Guggenheim museum Bilbao / Frank Gehry
Guggenheim museum sketch
The first stage of the idea started to take place, we have created a perfect P&L of costs, needs, fundraisers, and market fit in the ideal location (see part one, Villa Rotanda). Now we are executing the idea.
The structure / idea we have designed begins to form and unexpected things come into play/emerge. The “perfection” starts to crack.
In this section, I would like to present how the company and idea are designed by Frank Gary’s Guggenheim Museum.
The Guggenheim Museum was built in the style of Deconstructivism, a movement that made possible by innovative technology and computer design.
The Guggenheim structure was mostly built of titanium. Titanium was considered an expensive material, but during the museum’s construction period (1991) it was cheap due to the situation in the USSR after the fall of the Iron Curtain. Frank Gary imported the material, although it was not suited for architecture, due to the costs and innovation aspect.
The innovative use made the structure unique and definitely eye-catching.
The product you probably created is also innovative and “eye-catching” so people will show interest and maybe, initially want to invest.
The Guggenheim Museum has revolutionized the city of Bilbao, from an old and unattractive city to a tourist town with more than one million tourists coming every year to view the museum. The building created jobs for many people who began to engage in the tourism industry, and Bilbao became a tourist hub.
The product you built is supposed to be like that too, it should be different or better than anything else prior to it. It could be a “Blue ocean” that you created as a result of the product (which is rare), a new experience or unusual use to reach a million tourists a year.
The Guggenheim’s facades were so complex that they could not have been made without computerized design tools that helped the builders to follow the architecture’s plans. The main complexity was the combination of interior space and facades.
The product we built at Facetrom also needs to import components that are unique to another industry and apply them to the algo or technology we created.
The connection between the complexity of the interior structure and external visibility is challenging. At first, it relies on hardships that have not yet been uniformed or on the expected customer’s experience.
Our employees (builders) in the company had to sit for many hours to understand how to connect the various parts developed, of course, the parts were developed in general view and the design was in accordance with spatial evidence (see Villa Rotanda) but when it comes to execution there is a great difference from the design.
The system performance is not ideal, the information transfer is not fast enough and the users’ need was slightly different from our content. We have seen that our facades are very smart, but there is a clutter to create a uniform product that can deliver real-time customers from anywhere in the world and any size.
The Guggenheim Museum is not perfect, the truth is that it is far from perfect.
You can subtract and add whole parts and details to the museum and nothing will change, if I had to compare the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao to Villa Rotanda (we discussed in the previous section) even one facade of the villa is much more perfect and uniform than any museum.
So what made the museum special is the decision to use unusual material that was brought from another industry and the extraordinary visibility that was certainly innovative in 1991.
The product you develop in the first stage, for MVP creation is likely to be more similar to the Guggenheim Museum, the question of whether the “visible” mess can also present extraordinary innovation: content, experience, materials, etc. If so, then there is the potential for a million tourists to visit your product, if there is no exceptional innovation in the product you should return to the idea stage and redesign until you get Villa Rotanda design.
Now, I’ll present the main obstacles of the museum to the product you are creating:
1. The facades are essentially a sealed box, there is a complete disconnect between the interior and exterior, this connection is essential for the existence of architecture and an idea, that is, even if a user likes the visibility of what you do if it has no uniform connection to the interior and exterior (example of a Share in Facebook or understand what your UI is doing) No facades innovation can stand up for itself over time.
2. Entrance to the building, on most complex facades, it is difficult to understand where the entrance to the museum is, and the structure has a clear hierarchy with entrance being one of the most non-significant, without entering it is a sculpture that has nothing functional and has no dialogue between the interior and exterior. The sculpture has no relationship with the viewer and therefore a sculpture is something that can be considered beautiful and even very beautiful but not as something interactive that must happen in structure and product.
The entry point for the product must be clear and have a maximum hierarchy to lead the user to the experience you have created for him and which gives him value beyond the innovation dimension, which as such will lose itself after the second visit.
3. The museum is considered the world’s largest “toy”, some would say, gimmick. A gimmick can catch on for a while but the test of time will fail it. If, when they founded the museum, it was unique in its language, disorder and materials, over time computer design allowed us to build strange shapes and use a variety of materials. Once his uniqueness is lost over time, the gimmick is lost and so is its value.
If you are starting a gimmick you must make sure that there is content below that can make the product hold and stand the test of time.