There are houses, and then there’s Ricardo Bofill’s house: a brutalist former cement factory of epic proportions on the outskirts of Barcelona, Spain. A grandiose monument to industrial architecture in the Catalonian town of Sant Just Desvern, La Fabrica is a poetic and personal space that redefines the notion of the conventional home. “Nowadays we want everyone who comes through our door to feel comfortable, but that’s not Bofill’s idea here,” says filmmaker Albert Moya, who directed latest installment of In Residence. “It goes much further, you connect with the space in a more spiritual way.” Rising above lush gardens that mask the grounds’ unglamorous roots, the eight remaining silos that once hosted an endless stream of workmen and heavy machinery now house both Bofill’s private life, and his award-winning architecture and urban design practice.
Founded in 1963, Ricardo Bofill Taller de Arquitectura (RBTA) is one of Spain’s most prolific firms, with a long list of work that spans the globe: from Les Halles and the Christian Dior headquarters in Paris, to the JP Morgan’s skyscraper in Chicago and the Shangri-La Hotel in Beijing. But it is Bofill’s monolithic conversion showcased here that is undoubtedly his most personal work: a successful, and beautiful experiment in repurposing space, which has become a landmark of alternative living. “My entire crew was under the age of 30, and we all listened to Bofill wide-eyed,” says Moya. “To see someone who is approaching 80 with such a modern and young mentality gave hope to all of us.”
STATS FROM THE SET:
SIze of the house: 5,000 square meters.
Bedrooms and baths: Eight bedrooms, 12 baths.
Main building materials: Concrete, ceramic, wood, glass.
Year house built: 1975.
Oldest item: The furnace, from 1920.
Newest addition: A bedroom and a bathroom, in 2010.
Ceiling Height (at highest point): 10 meters (The Cathedral).
Natalia Rachlin is Design Editor-at-Large at NOWNESS.
Albert Moya: ”I was born in Miravet, (Tarragona, Spain 1989) from an early age I wanted to be able to explain reality through visual images. My mom, a sculptress, introduced me to art at a very young age, and influenced by a father figure, an orchestra director and musician, I started taking musical theory, piano and clarinet classes. My mom was a much better piano player than I was, plus she also played the saxophone and the tuba. We resembled a one-man band. While I was studying acting in Barcelona, I worked as an assistant art director on different projects, most of them in advertisement, until I moved to New York City to study film at the New York Film Academy. “American Autumn” is my first film, where my obsession with human relations and everyday threats that surrounds them coexists. “These Days” will be my next film.”
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