I could not be a bigger fan of concrete. It is just my favorite building material and will more than likely be the main material used in building my future home. So when I came across this renovated + redesigned cement factory a few years ago, I was smitten. I wish, to one day, stumble upon an abandoned building site and take a chance in turning it into something that reaches an all new level. Although, I am not sure I could have done what Ricardo Bofill did with this project. He took this industrial, almost ruin-like complex and transformed it into something so indescribably amazing. Eight of the original silos still stand and consist of offices, a library, a projection room, galleries and other functional spaces. The space known as The Cathedral is my favorite indoor space. It has high ceilings and a vast open floor plan where concerts, parties, lectures and lectures can be held. Absolutely PERFECT! His own home and guest houses also make up the converted complex. The exposed structural pieces are mixed with surreal elements creating surroundings so vast and magical that it literally blows my mind. I would love nothing more than to move this site here so that I can live in it, although the utilities bills would most likely defeat me!
I am just so in love with the old world feel mixed with a modern, industrial aesthetic. Mix monolithic concrete/stone elements, streamline furniture, intense yet non-uniformed greenery and I am one happy gal! One of my favorite features to utilize in any design is to integrate the inside space with those spaces occupied outdoors. The gardens of eucalyptus, palms, olive trees and cypresses become just as important features as the architectural elements are. And check out the ceiling to floor curtains! OBSESSED!! The ethereal heights and details of these spaces have me longing to escape from the daily grind. It is almost as if you are transported to another time/world. The décor is particularly interesting. This project was completed in 1975, that’s right… 1975!! By not trying to overwhelm the spaces with time-sensitive pieces, the choices have stood the test of time and once again prove that less is more.
“The factory is a magic place with a strange atmosphere that is difficult to be perceived by a profane eye. I like the life to be perfectly programmed here, ritualized, in total contrast with my turbulent nomad life.” – Ricardo Bofill
“To be an architect means to understand space, to understand space organized by man, to decipher the spontaneous movements and behaviour of people, and to detect the needs of change that they might unconsciously express. It is essential to track down these issues if we want to contribute with our personal work to the history of architecture.” – Ricardo Bofill