Ricardo Bofill has long been known for bombastic and gargantuan pseudoclassicism – his take on postmodernism’s ironic dismissal of the classical orders and traditional ornament. In 1973, the Spanish architect purchased an old abandoned cement plant near Barcelona, and has since turned it, little by little, into a machine for living in.
The website boredpanda.com has splashed a photo spread of La Fábrica in “Architect Turns Old Cement Factory into His Home, and the Interior Will Take Your Breath Away.” Although Bofill is not quite my cup of tea, his “house” is worth a look.
Frankly, I would turn the headline around and stand the story on its head. By the time you get inside, you are already blown away. That’s the impression I got after receiving the article from my wife Victoria, who chid the architect for interiors that are far from cozy. True, but coziness here may be next to impossible. I doubt Bofill is an aficionado of the cozy. Most of his work embraces, if anything, the totalitarian impulse.
The verdure on the walls and roof are, along with the arched windows, the result of Blofill’s intervention. They turn the plant’s already remarkable forms into something almost other-worldly. Enter, and their obverse forms shape a frightfully imposing interior. No, not exactly cozy. And of course there is room for Bofill and his employees to work “at home.” (Don’t drive in to the office, have the office drive in to you.) Do look at the article, which has more photos than you can shake a rebar at.