The Basque Maritime Factory Albaola (Albaola Itsas Kultur Faktoria) is a shipyard-museum-school located in the port of Pasaia, dedicated to the recovery, transmission, and dissemination of Basque maritime heritage.

This cultural space, created from the renovation of a former abandoned shipyard, was conceived with the aim of recovering and showcasing to the world the great Basque maritime legacy, a heritage treasure practically unknown to both locals and foreigners. Its proposal is innovative as the shipyard is open to the public.

After visiting the exhibition, visitors access the workshop where shipwrights and apprentices from Aprendiztegi, the International School of Ship Carpentry of Albaola, work in the construction and restoration, in front of the public, of wooden vessels of heritage value. Among them all, the construction of the replica of the nao San Juan stands out, a magnificent transoceanic galleon from the 16th century, measuring 28 meters in length. The San Juan possesses such an extraordinary aura and history that it has turned this Basque ship into a dazzling and unique piece in the world. Following its wake, at Albaola Itsas Kultur Faktoria, they tell us an astonishing and exceptional story; a story of splendor and prosperity, hidden for centuries.


Recently, an ambitious expansion and improvement of the exhibition area has been undertaken. A project in which one of our Irufire varnishing processes has been essential.

“We had an urgent need to expand the space because it had become too small. What was once an abandoned shipyard required deep improvements to accommodate both apprentices and employees, and above all, to enhance the visitor experience. An example is the traditional forge where now the blacksmith works in front of the public, something that was not possible until now,” explains Enara Novillo, a member of the factory team.


The result is a complete remodeling of the facilities, including private areas, offices, etc., as well as public spaces and exhibition areas. Among the latter, it is worth noting the launch of a specific space, entirely built in wood, for the development, in front of the public, of traditional trades associated with shipbuilding, artisan professions, and practically lost today such as traditional forging, the manufacturing of wooden pulleys, looms, or the construction of oars. All the necessary elements to equip the San Juan for its future voyages will be manufactured at Albaola Itsas Kultur Faktoria using traditional techniques and materials.


One of the largest and most significant wooden complexes in the Basque Country required a fireproofing process to provide protection to its facilities. Buildings of this nature must comply with many of the requirements of the Technical Building Code (CTE), including fire safety standards. At this point, Irurena Group became involved in the project by recommending the fireproofing process that best suited the requirements of standard EN 13501-1. This process achieves a fire reaction classification of B-s1,d0.

Tested by the independent laboratory Afiti according to the European standard for fire reaction and classification EN 13501-1.


The interior wooden walls and ceilings shaping the spaces of the exhibition area, kitchen-dining area, and offices were protected with two-component acrylic varnishes with properties that, being free from or lacking halogenated compounds (chlorinated or brominated), reduce the possibility of intoxication for those who may inhale fumes released by the combustion of wood during a hypothetical fire.


To achieve the highest classification in fire protection, the Irufire process applied consisted of the combination of the varnishing processes IRUFIRE ISOLATOR II-1 + IRUFIRE REAL & INTEGRAL B-s1,d0 PUR, which also provide:

  • High resistance to abrasion, rubbing, and scratches.
  • Does not yellow the wood due to the acrylic-aliphatic nature of the products comprising the process, making them unaffected by light exposure.

From an aesthetic standpoint, the varnishing process IRUFIRE ISOLATOR II-1 + IRUFIRE REAL & INTEGRAL B-s1,d0 PUR adequately maintains the original color of the wood. The walls, ceilings, beams, and columns of the museum retain their original color due to the transparency provided by Irufire varnishes.


The example of Albaola highlights the use of wood as a construction material. Wood is a renewable, economical material that, when processed correctly, can withstand the passage of time for many years. By making wood its distinguishing feature, the museum provides a sense of warmth and ancestral protection, transporting the visitor to past eras to experience immersion in the most natural way possible.




This website uses its own and third-party cookies for proper functioning and to analyze the behavior and browsing habits of its visitors (for example, pages visited).
You can get more information by consulting the section: Cookies Policy
Accept | Reject

This site is registered on as a development site. Switch to a production site key to remove this banner.