Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Gehry's Marques de Riscal Opens in Elciego, Spain

Already boasting the Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain's Basque region has unveiled its second work by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry, a fanciful display of glimmering and cascading titanium ribbons, housing a hotel at the center of one of the country's oldest wineries. After eight years of construction at a cost of $88 million, the building at Marqués de Riscal, the oldest winery in the town of Elciego within the heart of the northern Rioja wine region, was inaugurated this week by King Juan Carlos.

Since 1997, the Basque port of Bilbao has been home to the Guggenheim Museum, designed by Gehry and considered one of the world's great modern buildings and among Spain's most popular tourist attractions. At Marqués de Riscal, he used a canopy of pink, gold and silver titanium ribbons to shade a sandstone hotel building, a radical departure from the winery's existing architecture, which includes two structures dating from the 19th century. Besides a hotel, the complex includes a wine therapy spa, an exhibition area, wine-tasting rooms and a restaurant.

(From the Associated Press)

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