Bought a cement factory, turned it into an enchanted palace…


Date: November 20, 2022

01) LINK

“When architect Ricardo Bofill discovered an abandoned cement factory outside Barcelona, he was inspired to give the place a new life. After two years of work he turned 30 silos, 4,000 meters of underground galleries, and a 105-meter smokestack into his home and the offices of his Taller de Arquitectura (notable works include Les Halles and the Christian Dior headquarters in Paris, Shisheido building Tokyo, JP Morgan skyscraper Chicago and the Shangri-La Hotel Beijing).

The transformation of factory to home office was a process of destruction. Destroying 22 of the 30 silos, Bofill searched for hidden forms in the abandoned buildings. The process was “like a work of sculpture in concrete.”

Today, “La Fabrica” (The Factory) is a monument to adaptive reuse, a castle of Brutalist architecture, and enduring proof that Bofill could turn “the ugliest thing” into something beautiful.

The silos, which once held concrete, now house architects and overnight guests. Underground passageways, now daylighted with huge skylights, connect a labyrinth of laboratories (including one for 3D modeling), archive space, and even an employee kitchen.

The most spectacular space is “La Catedral” (The Cathedral) which earns its name with its 10-meter-high ceilings and concrete relics from its industrial past. It’s now used for meetings, exhibitions, and concerts. Bofill’s own home sits above La Catedral with its own impressive, high-ceilinged space called “Sala Cúbica” (“cubed hall”).

The work is vivid proof of the idea that function can follow form. “Many people say that something has to look like what it does and it’s not necessary,” explains Jean-Pierre Carniaux, partner at Taller de Arquitectura for 4 decades. “You know instead of being full of gravel it’s full of architects.”


Tell Us What You Think...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.