Guggenheim to open mid-Sept.

Jul 10, 2001 1:09 AM

Proceeding on schedule to open in September, is the new 7,660-square-foot Guggenheim Hermitage Museum at The Venetian, which has been designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Rem Koolhaas. Considered one of the most important forces in contemporary architecture, Koolhaas has created an intimate, jewel box-like space for the presentation of masterworks from the collections of the Hermitage and Guggenheim museums.

The museum’s exterior and interior walls are constructed of Cor-Ten steel, a material the architect chose to evoke the textured velvet walls of the Hermitage. The three freestanding interior walls will pivot, facilitating a flexible configuration depending on the exhibition. Because the Cor-Ten steel walls are impenetrable, a unique magnet system has been developed to hang paintings. Flooring will be wood, and the ceiling will be a folding plane of plastic from which a flexible lighting system will be suspended. The Cor-Ten steel “jewel box” provides a stark modern contrast to the highly ornate architecture of the Venetian Resort.

The Guggenheim Museum’s landmark exhibition, The Art of the Motorcycle, will inaugurate the Guggenheim Las Vegas with a new installation designed by Frank O. Gehry. The Art of the Motorcycle premiered in New York at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in the summer of 1998, where it drew record numbers of visitors and was widely heralded as a ground-breaking cultural event. Following its presentation in New York, the exhibition traveled to the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, and to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Spain, where it also broke attendance records.