We like to think that we show you the most exciting and unusual projects, as what is life without a little whimsy and folly, but today, we have absolutely hit the jackpot, with La Fabrica. What we are about to show you is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the most awe-inspiring and incomprehensible building transformations that has ever been completed and because we don't want to detract from the majesty of the pictures, we are going to tell you all about it here and then just sit back and let you drink in the images, from the comfort of your living room.
Back in 1973, architect Ricardo Bofill discovered a gem of industrial architecture in the form of a long disused cement factory that boasting 30 silos, subterranean spaces and gargantuan rooms that used to house machinery. While some people would have run a mile from such an overwhelming building, Ricardo saw potential for something extravagant, beautiful and, above all else, PRACTICAL! With that in mind, he set about restoring and transforming the site to become the new head office for Taller de Arquitectura. Unbelievably, the remodeling took a short two years, but the project did throw up some hurdles along the way, as the factory was not only abandoned, but also falling into disrepair in a number of locations. Heralded as something of a
compendium of surrealist elements, the building offered staircases that led to nowhere, concrete supports that seemed to give no structural value and, most weird of all, large hanging iron works that did absolutely nothing, apart from add to the mystery and majesty of the factory itself.
Naturally, some destruction was necessary, as you can only start to rebuild once deadwood has been removed and so, part of the factory was entirely demolished, leaving sculptural concrete structures visible. With new spaces defined and cordoned off and with potential uses already in mind, a program of intensive redevelopment could begin in earnest. A total of eight silos were kept, which were turned into offices, a models laboratory, a library and a number of other useful areas, while a main open hall, known affectionately as ’The Cathedral’. This amazing area was designed to be used for a huge range of cultural exhibits, appropriate to the nature of the architectural firm and with the interior defined and reconditioned, only one task remained; adding some greenery. Already looking as though nature was reclaiming it, the factory was given new life with stunning gardens, featuring tropical plants such as eucalyptus, palms, olive trees and cypresses.
We've said it before and we'll say it again, this transformation is nothing short of spectacular, so if you are in the mood for some really inspiring and visionary architecture, come with us now and check out these pictures!