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Ricardo Bofill stumbled onto an abandoned cement factory back in 1973, and it became love at first sight for the renowned Spanish architect. The factory had been in production up until the first world war, when the factory line was forced to shut down.
Back then, it had been in a dilapidated state, with rusting production equipment and mould-ridden walls. What happened next was a monumental 45-year journey towards turning the extensive property located just outside Barcelona into a family home and working studio for his firm. That was the beginning of the project known as 'La Fabrica'.
At the same time, the design team engaged onto an arduous process of transforming the interiors of the buildings. The spaces were turned into modern living areas, with a touch of understated luxe. Because of the purpose-built architecture, the oddly-shaped spaces meant that no two rooms in the new home looked alike.
Ricardo's immediate task was to spruce up the grounds surrounding the architecture, replacing the overgrown weeds with a variety of lush vegetation, palms, eucalyptus and olive trees.
The citadel-like structure evokes a feeling of awe and impressiveness, much like stepping into the hallowed grounds of an ancient castle. "It gives me the impression that I am living in a closed universe, which protects me from everyday and outside life," Ricardo says.
By now, the vegetation has begun to grow into the home, becoming a part of the new look. The lush greenery provide perfect contrast to the wooden beams and conserved steel pillars.
In the living room, mid-century modern furniture mix harmoniously with industrial-style columns and large metallic barrels - remnants of the building's former function.
Ricardo also created several smaller areas in the home, to provide the residents with private corners for relaxation and contemplation.
Thanks to the high ceiling, Ricardo was able to play on the proportion of the space and create a feeling of spaciousness and formality.
Straight lines running throughout the home help to draw the eye up to the extra-volume ceiling, adding to its expansiveness.
The design team scrapped away the original paintwork on the walls, exposing the beautiful textures of the brickwalls beneath. Accented by soft white curtains and a monochromatic colour-scheme for the furniture, the resulting look is one of modern sophistication.
Natural textures become the feature in many of the spaces.
In addition to the residential area, La Fabrica is also the location for Ricardo's architecture studio. Ricardo says that the project is only partially finished and will probably becoming an on-going process for the rest of his life.