The cement factory that now projects buildings

In 1973, the Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill discovered in the suburbs of Barcelona an old cement factory, an industrial complex abandoned in the early 20th century and invaded long ago by nature. “In front of me were 30 huge silos, a towering chimney, four kilometers of subterranean and giant machine rooms,” Bofill later explained.

As HIC Arquitectura tells us, Bofill immediately realized the potential of the infrastructure. “I thought that horrible thing could turn into something very beautiful, just as idiocy can sometimes turn into genius,” he explained.

The factory had been built in the first period of industrialization of Barcelona and, thus, had not had a previous plant. The whole building had elements of various periods that overlapped in an industrial way: stairs that were not going anywhere, broken volumes, potent but already useless spaces of strange proportions.

However, Bofill managed to transform that immense structure into the residence and workplace of the architect. The factory took two years to be remodeled and renovated: the architect defined the new space and demolished some structures, exposing others previously hidden and making an immense planting of several types of vegetation. That is, the project transformed the abandoned factory into an authentic contemporary castle, full of terraces and gardens and still called home.


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