AlhóndigaBilbao is located in the heart of the city and is one of Bilbao’s most representative buildings. Originally a wine store, designed in 1909 by Ricardo Bastida, it is now a spectacular multi-purpose civic centre dedicated to leisure and culture, and its transformation was undertaken by Phillippe Starck. AlhóndigaBilbao is an innovative, multi-disciplinary space that is full of life and provides opportunities for knowledge, a wide variety of cultural representations, physical activity, and recreation. Among its most striking features are the 43 columns designed by Starck and created under the supervision of the Italian set designer Lorenzo Baraldi.
AlhóndigaBilbao has a multimedia library, a physical activity centre, a swimming pool, and exhibition room, an auditorium, movie theaters, a multi-purpose hall, restaurants, cafeterias, and a shop. A number of events are held here, such as the Gutun Zuria literary festival.