The new football cathedral

Over a century old, the former stadium of the Bilbao Athletic Club, belonging to one of the great European football clubs and known as the “football cathedral”, was replaced by a new stadium recognised at the World Stadium Congress 2015 in Qatar.

Located in almost exactly the same site as the old one, the new stadium is a category-4 stadium—the highest rating given by the UEFA—and was built in two stages so that the team would not have to play matches away from home.

The site of the new stadium as the end of the Ensanche de Bilbao urban development project, overlooking the Ria from a privileged perch, makes the building an architectural element that presents itself with force and boldness while also respecting the rest of the buildings in this area of the city. This reflection led to one of the first aspects considered in its design, the conception of the built volume as an urban building, in relation to all the rest, and not as a mere sports facility.

A series of Bolonia washbasins, from the Bathco rectangular porcelain collection, were installed in a line in the stadium restrooms to simulate, with the red wall, the team’s logo.