Concrete Dream

Ricardo Bofill is a Spanish Architect who was born in Barcelona and studied at the School of Architecture in Geneva, Switzerland. Son of an architect, Ricardo worked with his father until 1963, when he founded ‘Taller de Arquitectura’, a multi-disciplinary studio, which included other environmental and design professionals as well as architects, engineers, sociologists and philosophers.

Bofill’s early work falls within the Neo-Expressionism and Neo-Realism of the Barcelona School. The style of his building are something awesome. A mix of textures, forms, materials and impressions. From the sixties until today he has accomplished constructions that stand out and have it’s own style.

In 1973 Ricardo Bofill discovered a cement factory, part of an industrial complex from the turn of the century, comprising over 30 silos, underground galleries and huge engine rooms. He decided to transform it into his head office. Remodelling work lasted two years. The factory, abandoned and partially in ruins, was a compendium of surrealist elements—stairs that climbed up to nowhere, mighty reinforced concrete structures that sustained nothing, pieces of iron hanging in the air; in short, huge empty spaces filled nonetheless with magic.

The transformation process began with the demolition of part of the old structure, laying previously concealed forms bare, as if the concrete had been sculpted. Once the spaces had been defined, cleaned of cement and enhanced with surrounding, newly-planted greenery, the process began of adaptating the site to the new programme. Eight silos were left standing, and turned into offices, a modelling laboratory, archives, a library, a projection room and a huge space known as ‘The Cathedral’, the venue for subsequent exhibitions, lectures, concerts and a whole range of cultural activities linked to the architect’s professional life.

To this day, this legendary live/work complex remains one of, if not the most impressive examples of adaptive reuse ever seen. The complex stands in the midst of gardens of eucalyptus, palms, olive trees and cypresses. It also features Ricardo Bofill’s house and guest rooms.

This place is really amazing… a loft full of style, great design/architectural elements and the part that I liked most, it has enormous spaces, windows and a stunning light quality.

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