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Saturday, 22 April, 2000, 11:24 GMT 12:24 UK
New Guggenheim ruffles NYC
model
Model vision of the future museum
By Jane Hughes in New York

Proposals for a radical new branch of the Guggenheim museum on the southern end of Manhattan are meeting with fierce opposition from New Yorkers.

They argue the structure would ruin the city's skyline. The museum has released scale models of the building designed by Frank Gehry, the architect of the Bilbao Guggenheim.

There is no disputing the argument that the building, would change the Manhattan skyline.

The new Guggenheim would stand 45 storeys high off the southern end of the city in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge.

Changed skyline

But its supporters say it would change the skyline for the better and become a defining building for the city in the way the Sydney Opera House is in Australia.


museum
Similar to museum in Bilbao
Mr Gehry describes it as being like a silver cloud, a fractured glass skyscraper swathed in vast swirling titanium ribbons, elevated over a garden on six enormous pillars.

It faces fierce opposition from those who feel its radical style would mar an image of New York that has been immortalised in thousands of movies.

There is also competition for the proposed site from a hotel and casino developer and there is concern on Wall Street at the idea of thousands of tourists invading the financial district.

So there are several big hurdles to overcome if the Guggenheim is to build its $900m structure.

But the museum badly needs to expand and it is committed to the idea of a new building that really makes a statement, so it is preparing for a long, hard battle.

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