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ATHLETIC CLUB
MONDAY, 24 SEPTEMBER 2018
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IBAIGANE: ATHLETIC CLUB'S HEADQUARTERS

The Athletic Club headquarters are situated at the Palace of Ibaigane, a magnificent early twentieth century building located right in the centre of Bilbao, just metres away from the Guggenheim Museum.

The Palace of Ibaigane, whose developer was ship-owner and businessman Ramon de la Sota, one of the most dynamic and innovative industrialists of his time, is the masterpiece of architect Gregorio Ibarreche. It is a key building of the Neo-Basque style, an outstanding example of early XX century "renaissance"; concretely Athletic Club's headquarters remind us, in a certain way, of the old Biscayan medieval house-tower, converted into a family and residential palace.

The palace is a square building with an almost square floor plan, 24 meters by 22, with an elevation of three levels, well differentiated in the texture from its simple but interesting façade, crowned by a four-slope roof.

In spite of its classic façade, the inner skeleton of this palace is metallic; that is to say, modern for its time. Aside from the outer walls, the building is erected using iron beams, covered by wood on which masonry joist fillers rest. These iron pillars, with nut rivets -there is no welding-, were constructed at Altos Hornos de Bizkaia, a fundamental factory in the industrialization of Biscay.

Equally interesting is the structure and configuration of the interior. The three levels of the house are opened to a courtyard crowned by a great stained-glass ceiling; the work of Anselmo de Guinea, one of the most outstanding artists in the country at the time.

The different suites and rooms, decorated with noble Italian style jambs, fine woods, and red marble from Ereño, Venetian floors, mouldings, pan forms and chimneys, all face this central patio, measuring seven by six meters. A chapel with its own organ completes the unfolding of ornaments and services of one of the most emblematic residences of early twentieth-century Bilbao. Currently, all these rooms are used as offices for the accounting department, communications department, documentation centre, marketing, management, meeting rooms...

Ibaigane, where Athletic Club's administrative functions take place, where the Board of directors' meets and club members are attended to, possesses, according to the Basque Government, sufficient values to be declared a Classified Monument.

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