In this powerful new visual from Spirit of Space, we are introduced to Ricardo Bofill’s headquarters ‘The Factory’ or La Fábrica, Taller de Arquitectura. Once a disused and decaying cement factory from the turn of the century, with 30 silos, machine room, and galleries, it is now a significant transformative project, satisfying the Architect's longing for space via adaptive reuse.
A haven in the urban sprawl, engulfed by a floury of palm, olive, and eucalyptus trees. Spirit of Space visits the former hive of activity, now a tranquil mid-city refuge, an immense contrast to the industrial grime that used to reside here. Through moving pictures and multi-sensory experiences it explores the Brutalist form; a concrete shell… a skeleton intertwined with nature itself.
The original factory was noticed by Bofill in 1973, the Functionalist approach to Architecture was evident. He saw much potential with much of the visually powerful spaces and crude concrete forms. The resurrection was initiated by demolishing much of the original structure, uncovering sculptural formation that offered spaces for both work and play. The essence of the original composition remains, including 8 of the 30 silos, yet now offers offices, laboratories, archives, a projection room, and cultural/exhibitions space.
La Fábrica offers insight into the power of transitional adaptive reuse projects and how these disused spaces can be activated and reborn. A juxtaposition of the bustling working environment it once was, the video offers insight into the essence of the reinvented place. It sits very still, encompassed by biophilic components to better the ambiance and character of the development. Peaceful in every sense for both residence and workplace.
Today the silos house Ricardo Bofill Taller de Arquitectura, a range of interdisciplinary professionals including Architects, Urban Planners, project managers, interior and graphic designers. A combination of both private and public spaces and connective spiral staircases that encourage social circulation and communication. The residencies and garden offer a place of life and reflection, creating beauty in the most unlikely place. A reflection of his ambitious nature to redefining space, Bofill used ‘wild urbanism’ to tone down the stark and impenetrable nature of the concrete materiality and create an inner-city paradise.
I wanted to live there for the pleasure of the challenge – Ricardo Bofill
The late Ricardo Bofill was a Spanish Architect known for his diverse design aesthetic and vernacular approach to Architecture, spanning over 50 years. Graduating from the Barcelona School of Architecture he is renowned for La Muralla Roja, a series of vibrant apartment blocks in Spain and Les Espaces d’Abraxas a symbolic monument of arches and pillars in France. Many of his works have proven popular as backdrops for multiple films and music videos and are often celebrated for his monumentality and range in terms of Architectural style.
To see more architecture videos, check ArchDaily's full coverage of Spirit of Space's series of videos