September 2017

Standing like a fortress, protected from the world, La Fabrica is an old cement factory located near Barcelona and now serves as the unique backdrop to architect Ricardo Bofill’s studio and home.

Built soon after the First World War, the cement factory has had a transformative history, evolving across a range of styles, including Brutalist and Surrealist movements, all whilst retaining a very industrial function and look. Having undergone a series of processes that converted the existing structure into a studio, gallery, garden and home, La Fabrica now poses as a repurposed city situated within an abandoned factory.

The interior is vast in scale with a cathedral-like quality. Huge silos have been restructured to form staircases, providing dramatic lighting which fills the central atrium. The central atrium exposes the scale and construction of the original structure and whilst the overall look is undeniably industrial, there is a very modern and clean feeling to the space; it perfectly blends commercial and residential aesthetics with a wholly unique history.

The exterior is equally as inspiring with verdant planting overflowing from every nook and cranny. Where the building has been modified through the use of jackhammers and dynamite, Bofill has taken the opportunity to add a green touch and plant native species. Now a series of gardens within the premises, rooftop oases and verdant nodes slowly encapsulate the structure and will help blur the line between nature and human interaction further. 

Avenida Industria 14
08960 Sant Just Desvern
Barcelona, Spain