Architect turns First World War Era concrete factory into stunning home

Ricardo Bofill Taller Arquitectura - La Fabrica.
Ricardo Bofill Taller Arquitectura - La Fabrica.

A World War One concrete factory transformed by an architect into a striking house undoubtedly draws attention, and the transformation only took 45 years.

Ricardo Bofill fell head over heels with the large concrete structure in 1973 which is situated near Barcelona.

What was once an ugly structure is now saturated with greenery.

Over the decades Bofill and his group added plush vegetation and turned it from an industrial hull into an exceptional work of art – La Fabrica.

Bofill said they decided to keep the factory, change its original brutality and mold it like a work of art.

He lives and works at home better than anywhere else.  For him, it is the only place where he can concentrate and couple ideas in the most ideal abstract way.

La Fabrica is close to Barcelona; the interior is plush while preserving the concrete walls.

The exterior is covered by olive and palm trees, eucalyptus and grass giving the impression that nature had partially reclaimed it.

Each room is distinctively furnished, but he retained the concrete walls as a testament of the former structure’s use, Bofill explained.  He describes the living room as monumental, conceptual, brutalist and domestic.

The renewal project started in 1973 and incorporates different architectural languages: Surrealist elements and Catalan Civic Gothic style.

Bofill’s residence has green terraces and roofs.

Construction work that lasted over 18 months started with partial destruction using dynamite and jackhammers.

The last stage was its supposed “functionalism,” giving the factory original structures and varying uses.

Bofill said he has the impression of living in a zone, in an enclosed universe which shields him from everyday life and the outside world.  Life proceeds in a continuous order between leisure and work, The Sun reported.

In addition to acting as his offices and home, the primary factory hall has been made into a conference room.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE