A former Cement Factory is now the workspace and residence of architect Ricardo Bofill
Some things grow better with age, and in this case, it is a project completed in 1975 and still worth exploration — given global emphasis upon resource conservation and reuse, perhaps now more than ever!
The Cement Factory came to attention in 1973, as an abandoned cement factory partially in ruins, comprised of over 30 silos, underground galleries, and huge engine rooms. Architect Ricardo Bofill bought it and began renovation… or, re-architecture.
He defined the space by demolishing certain structures, cleaning cement, exposing previously concealed structures and creating the landscape architecture by planting varied plants such as eucalyptus, palms, olive trees and cypresses; renovation work lasted nearly two years.
Seduced by elements of contradiction and vagueness of the cement factory space, Bofill preserved the basic structures and modified the original brutality, sculpting it like a work of art. In the process, surrealistic features arose and gave impression of cathedral and castle windows, turrets, and courtyards. Incorporating several languages from the history of Architecture, all these magical elements stand in the midst of transformed gardens which were once the yard of a cement factory.
Ricardo Bofill currently lives and works in The Cement Factory, as it is the one place he can concentrate, think in the most abstract manner, and create projects with the unique vocabulary of his architecture.
“To be an architect means to understand space, to understand space organized by man, to decipher the spontaneous movements and behavior of people, and to detect the needs of change that they might unconsciously express. It is essential to track down these issues if we want to contribute with our personal work to the history of architecture.” Ricardo Bofill