Hove Into View: A Repurposed Cement Factory La Fábrica

Described as “the heart and brain of Ricardo Bofill’s professional and personal life,” La Fábrica was rebuild in luxurious romanticism.

Located on the outskirts of Barcelona, the repurposed cement factory La Fábrica is a home in ruins to the Taller de Arquitectura (RBTA) and the Bofill family. It also serves as the headquarter of Taller, which includes offices, a model-making workshop, archives, and a library.

Originally a cement company formed in 1916, its 105-meter chimney was designed by American engineer Clifford Tomlinson, also known as the tallest in Europe. The factory remained standing with the sea supplying cement for defense projects through the Spanish Civil War. However, the plant was severely polluted after the war, which led to growing opposition from neighbors to the new investments it required.

In 1972, acclaimed Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill with his team stumbled upon the abandoned site. Then, they purchased it in 1973 and initiated a process of partial destruction and remodeling, demolishing parts of the industrial structure to reveal the hidden form. Eventually, it became a magnificent mansion – La Fábrica.

Partial reconstruction was completed in 1975, cleaned of cement, and silos were preserved and transformed into offices and residential areas, while the design incorporates various architectural languages. They depicted the future, and creates a futuristic atmosphere that we’ve never dared to think about.

The first view came into the sight is a complex of lush florals and plants on rooftops with ample sunlight, seems like an oasis within the surrounding industrial area. The entire district was encompassed by new greenery such as olive trees, cypresses, palms and, eucalyptus, mingling with the complex in the midst of gardens.

 I have the impression of living in a closed universe which protects me from the outside and everyday life,” Ricardo Bofill. 

A haven in the urban hustle that delivers peace. From living room to suites, each spaces were designed with its own special purpose to embrace uniqueness. It is a process of going native, the rooms are well furnished with raw, old-fashioned pieces, to create a sleek and spacious feel.

Comfy white sofas and a library occupied the relaxation spots for leisure time. It has completely been a spectacular and unique home. While life goes on, it is important to separate work from life.

A connective graphic white staircase makes its way to Ricardo’s area. The restaurant offers a beautiful view of the garden; the study desk and a mini-gallery are placed, where Ricardo can work without being disturbed.

La Fàbrica

Gradually move to a spacious interior space dubbed “The Cathedral,” the space that’s for meetings, exhibitions, concerts, and other activities. Above the Cathedral lies Bofill’s residence, including green roofs and terraces.

“La Fábrica is a magical place with a strange atmosphere,” said Bofill. “I like my daily routine to be perfectly programmed here. I find that the rituals of my home life provide a welcome contrast to my nomadic professional life. I can live and work here better than anywhere else,” added Bofill.

With powerful new visuals from emerging and experienced architects, La Fábrica is a significant transformation project which constantly being renovated and perfected in the coming days.

A Final Glance

Architect: Ricardo Bofill – Taller de Arquitectura

Area: 3,500 smq

Completion: 1974 – ongoing

Photography: Richard Powers, Louis Carbonell, Gregori Civera, Serena Vergano

In other story, Hove Into View: Touring A Malaysian-Inspired Sayang House

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