Architect Turns Barcelona Cement Factory Into Artistic Wonderland
In 1973, when Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill first set his sights on an old, dilapidated cement factory just outside of Barcelona, Spain, what he saw was a mess of contradictions.
Emphasis on the mess.
But it was not only the relic of Catalonia’s Industrial Revolution, but also a work of art, featuring surrealist quirks like staircases to nowhere, spatial abstractions and brutalism design. Two years later, Bofill bought the factory and began the lifelong endeavor of turning it into a home and workspace.
The building became somewhat of a work-life wonderland. In the old cement silos, Bofill carved out his workshop, which consists of four floors connected by a spiral staircase (the 77-year-old runs his own architectural firm out of it). On the first floor is Bofill’s spare office; in the basement are his firm’s galleries and archives. Nicknaming the factory’s original hall the “Cathedral,” Bofill transformed it into conference and exhibition rooms.
He also planted lush gardens of eucalyptus, palm, olive, and prune trees around the structures.
He also found room enough in the old building for his own residence, which upon first viewing, could easily pass for an East Village loft. It includes a large living room, a kitchen and dining room, two-sided fireplaces, and a private living space (i.e. the “pink” room).
Take a look inside the Cement Factory below.