The construction cost was around €84 million, plus €36 million for the artworks – a lot of money at any time, especially in a recession. It took the city over 10 years to recoup its investment.
However the Bilbao Effect became an almost indisputable concept used extensively in business management and urban planning in both the UK and United States to promote avant-gardist buildings within urban regeneration.
The idea has penetrated the academia with research money made available in the UK to study the significance of the factor. In 2000, during an experiment carried out at Sussex University, subjects were asked to consider the “effect on the mind and the senses” of new developments.
The legacy of the Guggenheim Bilbao, mobilised people to look at architecture in a much more ambitious way. It shifted popular opinion to think of architecture much more as an art form that can inject a specific energy in a large urban context and create a better future, spatially, economically, socially, culturally, and ecologically.
Even though Bilbao effect has never been successfully reproduced anywhere in the world. It has been tried. Here are few examples: