Text description provided by the architects. Al-fondaq is an Arabic word for a building that is both an overnight stay for travelers and traders, and a community warehouse and trade for surplus grain. It is the spatial prelude to the market. It is the direct ancestor of the word ‘fonda’. This name is a tribute to the Muslim heritage of our territory of the Camp de Tarragona. Alfondac is a guest house scattered in several places, far from each other, so that each can become a stage for your own journey. Alfondac is not a new hotel concept, it is an archaic idea. A founding act of architecture is hospitality. Welcoming other people, foreigners or friends, strangers or equals.
Alfondac is always under construction, constantly improving and transforming. And we value what your emotions and thoughts are during and after your stay to help us in the constant iteration of each space, component and part. A livable prototype. Each of the habitats that make up Alfondac question a paradigm of what a domestic space is. This is a Living Lab focused on how each of your needs, hopes, dreams and fears flourish in unconventional spaces.
Homeful. At Alfondac we test and present our Homeful system, a family of modular home components that allow a fast, cheap and durable transformation of buildings that have long been abandoned, suggesting multiple situations that each inhabitant can easily configure according to changing daily needs, weekly, seasonal or lifelong. Its materials and processes are of very low impact on the environment and can be assembled with DIY tools.
How can we re-inhabit abandoned places in the most economical, fastest, and predictable way so that they become not only inhabitable, but responsive to the contemporary and arcane needs of human beings?
If we focus our efforts on a very compact layout, the costs of services and materials will be minimized, and the space freed up for the inhabitants will be maximized to transform them as they see fit. This amalgam of activities is also an opportunity to explore unexpected relationships between the traditional separation of domestic spaces that still have a strong patriarchal and hygienic burden, blurring their borders and bringing them closer to freer and braver ways of living.
The first iteration of this system has been implemented in the upcycling of an old photography studio in the Raval Santa Anna in Reus. Here, we have developed a family of 100x100 cms terrazzo tops, manufactured by Huguet Mallorca. Each of the pieces in the series responds to a ‘two for one’ logic, where the traditionally separate activities of cooking and bathing can coexist. For example, the entire surface of the kitchen top becomes a sink, with two different depths and areas for washing and handling food, drying kitchen utensils, and personal hygiene as well.