This Architect Turned An Abandoned Cement Factory Into A Dreamy Modern Castle

In 1973, architect Ricardo Bofill found an abandoned, World War I-era cement factory outside of Barcelona. "I found enormous silos, a tall smokestack, four kilometers of underground tunnels, and machine rooms in good shape," he said in a statement. "I already imagined future spaces and noticed that the different aesthetic and plastic tendencies that had developed since World War I were present in this factory."
In the time since, he and his staff have transformed La Fábrica into a spectacular modern castle. They laced the exterior with lush greenery, and turned the inside into a living and work space where Bofill's home and studio are now located. The structure is still a work in progress, Bofill says.
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If you find yourself in northern Spain, the castle is definitely worth visiting. You can wander through the gardens, view the exhibition space, and take plenty of artsy photos. But for now, you can check out photos of La Fábrica, ahead.
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Photo: Courtesy of RICARDO BOFILL TALLER DE ARQUITECTURA.
"This cement factory, dating from the first period of the industrialization of Barcelona, was not built at once or as a whole but was a series of additions as the various chains of production became necessary," says Bofill.
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Photo: Courtesy of RICARDO BOFILL TALLER DE ARQUITECTURA.
"Seduced by the contradictions and the ambiguity of the place, we quickly decided to retain the factory, and modifying its original brutality, sculpt it like a work of art."
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Photo: Courtesy of RICARDO BOFILL TALLER DE ARQUITECTURA.
"Slowly, with the valuable help of Catalan craftsmen, the cement factory was transformed, but it will always remain as an unfinished work."
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Photo: Courtesy of RICARDO BOFILL TALLER DE ARQUITECTURA.
"Presently I live and work here better than anywhere else," says Bofill. "I have installed the Taller de Arquitectura, with the intention, later on, of converting it into a foundation destined to the investigation of form, and the design of the city."
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Photo: Courtesy of RICARDO BOFILL TALLER DE ARQUITECTURA.
"It is for me the only place where I can concentrate, associate ideas in the most abstract manner, and finally, create projects, images and new spaces, and constitute a specific vocabulary for my architecture."
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Photo: Courtesy of RICARDO BOFILL TALLER DE ARQUITECTURA.
"I have the impression of living in a closed universe, which shields me from the outside and everyday life. The Cement Factory is a place of work par excellence. Life goes on here with very little difference between work and leisure."
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Photo: Courtesy of RICARDO BOFILL TALLER DE ARQUITECTURA.
"I have the impression of living in a factory world, the same world that characterized and propelled the beginnings of industrial development in Catalonia."
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