Cement plant for living in

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Ricardo Bofill’s cement factory near Barcelona. (all photos from boredpanda.com)

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.

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About David Brussat

For a living, I edit the writing of some of the nation's leading architects, urbanists and design theorists. This blog was begun in 2009 as a feature of the Providence Journal, where I was on the editorial board and wrote a weekly column of architecture criticism for three decades. Architecture Here and There fights the style wars for classical architecture and against modern architecture, no holds barred. My freelance writing and editing on that topic and others addresses issues of design and culture locally and globally. I am a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, and a member of the board of the New England chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, which bestowed an Arthur Ross Award on me in 2002. I work from Providence, R.I., where I live with my wife Victoria, my son Billy and our cat Gato. If you would like to invest your prose with even more style and clarity, please email me at my consultancy, dbrussat@gmail.com, or call 401.351.0457. Testimonial: "Your work is so wonderful - you now enter my mind and write what I would have written." - Nikos Salingaros, mathematician at the University of Texas, architectural theorist and author of many books.
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3 Responses to Cement plant for living in

  1. aimixsophie says:

    it is fantastic, thank you for your sharing.

    Like

  2. This is the closest structure I’ve ever seen to the environments of arcade games.

    Like

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