Azkuna Zentroa

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Azkuna Zentroa
Alhóndiga Municipal de Bilbao
Bilbao Alhondiga-tomasfano-01.jpg
Inside Azkuna Zentroa.
General information
TypeMulti-purpose venue
Architectural styleModernism
LocationBilbao, Basque Country
Address4, Arriquibar Square
Coordinates43°15′35″N 2°56′13″W / 43.25972°N 2.93694°W / 43.25972; -2.93694
Construction started1905
Cost71 million euros
Technical details
Floor area43,000 m2 (460,000 sq ft)
Design and construction
ArchitectRicardo Bastida
Other designersPhilippe Starck, Thibaut Mathieu

Azkuna Zentroa (Basque for Azkuna Centre), previously known as Alhóndiga Bilbao (Spanish pronunciation: [aˈlondiɣa βilˈβao]), is a multi-purpose venue located in the city of Bilbao, Spain. It was designed by French designer Philippe Starck in collaboration with Thibaut Mathieu[1] and was opened to the public in stages between 18 May and 24 October 2010; the venue, labeled as a "Culture and Leisure Centre", consist of a cinema multiplex, a fitness centre, a library, showrooms, an auditorium, shops, and a restaurant.[2][3] In March 2015 its name was officially changed to Azkuna Zentroa in tribute to the late mayor of Bilbao Iñaki Azkuna.[4]

Originally a corn exchange (alhóndiga in Spanish), it was designed by Basque architect Ricardo Bastida and inaugurated in 1909. However, in the 1970s, a new warehouse was planned and the Alhóndiga was abandoned. Several projects were suggested, ranging from public housing, a museum of modern art, or even demolishing the entire building, but all were scrapped. Finally, in 1994 it was decided to renovate it and build a sports and culture centre;[5] the Basque Government decided to declare the building "Public Property of Cultural Interest" in 1999.[2][6]


  1. ^ Retrieved 2011-01-15.
  2. ^ a b "The Alhóndiga, Culture". Alhóndiga Bilbao. Retrieved 2010-10-20.
  3. ^ "La nueva Alhóndiga". Archived from the original on 23 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-20.
  4. ^ "AlhóndigaBilbao cambia su nombre a Azkuna Zentroa" (in Spanish). La Vanguardia. 17 March 2015.
  5. ^ José Basurto (2010-05-08). "Proyectos al cubo". Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2010-10-20.
  6. ^ "Decreto 397/1998". Basque Government. 1999-01-20. Archived from the original on 2011-06-22. Retrieved 2010-10-20.

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