The start of the project dates back to 1973, when the architect Ricardo Bofill bought an old cement factory on the edge of Barcelona and decided to transform it into a luxurious home. After just under 45 years, his dream has become a luxurious reality. However, the romantic ruins which La Fabrica is so reminiscent of are not yet finished. There is always something to improve on and Bofill himself says that this is part of the overall charm.
The business was closed after World War Two and the ravages of time left their mark on the site. The building needed a lot of repairs, patience and care, but all that paid off in the end.
The building dating back to the first period of industrialisation in Catalonia was not built all at once as a whole, but gradually over time with addition of further extensions as required by production. This led to creation of huge, but superfluous spaces of strange proportions, paradoxical stairs which lead to nowhere etc. and all of this made from cement.
Thanks to the slightly oxidised surfaces and raw concrete walls, the industrial aesthetic and spatial quality of the building have been preserved. Certainly worth a mention is Ricardo Bofill’s luxury studio and office. The underground gallery contains a model workshop and archive space, a wonderful garden and a hall which was transformed into a conference and exhibition room.
The luxury exteriors are overflowing with greenery, the roofs are covered in grass, palms can be seen everywhere, as can eucalyptus and olive trees. The interiors are amazing with their creativity and combination of “the old with the new”. Each room was designed to suit its purpose and is completely different from the previous one.
“At the moment, I work and live here better than anywhere else in the past. This is the only place where I can concentrate. The space is not however designed only for me to live in, but also for my work, between which there is however only a very fine line. I get the feeling that I am living in the same surroundings as those which fuelled the industrial revolution in Catalonia.” says Ricardo Bofill.