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Work finally starts on Guggenheim refurb

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Frank Lloyd Wright's iconic Guggenheim Museum in New York will finally undergo much-needed restoration work, after museum bosses finalised a refurbishment plan.

The building has been shrouded in scaffolding for more than a year, and following extensive testing, work is now ready to start on the distinctive structure.

According to the architect performing the restoration work, Wank Adams Slavin Associates (WASA), the exterior of the building is covered in numerous cracks, and, perhaps more worrying, all windows will have to be replaced due to condensation.

Although the cracks on the building's exterior can be filled - it was once feared the facade would need a complete overhaul - the moisture will cause a major headache.

As one of the architects leading the restoration work, Pamela Jerome, points out, this is by no means the first of Wright's buildings faced with water problems - Fallingwater, for instance, is alleged to have suffered from more than 50 leaks.

Jerome recently said: 'Wright was a fabulous designer. He was very concerned with aesthetics, less so with the details of making things watertight or structurally sound. But it's up to people like us to basically figure out how to make these buildings function better.'

Work is likely to start on the overhaul in the New Year, and it is expected to cost nearly £15 million.

by Richard Vaughan

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