Abandoned cement factory Ricardo Bofill found in 1973 in Barcelona. Thirty towers, underground corridors and huge machinery halls – only about 1000 m² – he turned into his residence and the offices of his office Taller de Arquitectura.
The project thundered in all the magazines, but Bofill’s acquaintances did not cease to be surprised: is someone ready to call this industrial zone reminiscent of the scenery to the gloomy futuristic Metropolis of Fritz Lang a home? “The factory is a magical place,” Bofill replied, “it’s just that its strange atmosphere is difficult for an amateur to appreciate.”
Rough concrete walls, atriums, hanging gardens and narrow staircases are ideal for the work of a fashionable architectural workshop. In eight towers, Bofill built a breadboard laboratory, design workshops, an archive, a library and exhibition space, which, because of the huge size and arched windows, called the Cathedral. From these fortress walls he dictated new architectural ideas to the world. But the cement castle was still difficult to be considered a real home.
The factory was “domesticated” in the early 90s, when Marta Villalonga, Bofill’s wife, decided to leave work in New York and move to Taller de Arquitectura. Not every woman will agree to live in a rough concrete tower, which is filled with a loud echo from every word or step. But Marta is a professional designer, and she was interested in working with such an unusual space. “I wanted to make the factory premises a bit warmer,” she says.
After examining the “Cathedral”, Marta decided: “No carpets, murals and trite stucco. They are not at all combined with clean lines of factory interiors. ” She hung white canvases to the full height of the walls, from the same material sewed covers for sofas, pillows and pouffes. Fabrics absorb sound and contrast with rough texture of concrete.
The fitness room with jacuzzi and hydromassage cabin was built on the roof of one of the towers. In the remaining rooms, Marta added fabrics, dishes and lamps of her own design.
Guests of Taller de Arquitectura recognize that in a few years Marta de Villalonga did almost impossible – turned the plant into a cozy modern house. Bofill is also very pleased. “I like how she arranged everything here. This order is the exact opposite of the nomadic life that I led before. In addition, nothing is more disciplined than huge spaces. ”
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