A Tale of Two Cities: Architecture and the Digital Revolution

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Science  06 Aug 1999:
Vol. 285, Issue 5429, pp. 839-841
DOI: 10.1126/science.285.5429.839

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The Sydney Opera House and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao illustrate the revolution in architecture that results from the use of computer-aided design (CAD). When Utzon first designed the Sydney Opera House, construction could not go ahead for several years until a structural solution for the free-form curved surfaces was found. In contrast, Gehry's Guggenheim Museum--an even more audacious design--relied on digital models from the start and could be built without delay. The gap between what can be dreamed and what can be constructed has thus narrowed dramatically.