March 08, 2017
"Industrial style" conjures up images of loft apartments, exposed brick walls and perhaps a few concrete accessories. La Fabrica, a converted concrete factory in Barcelona, is much, much more than that.
La Fabrica is the brainchild of local architect Ricardo Bofill. He came across the disused concrete factory in 1973, saw potential in its decaying structure and started the gargantuan (and still unfinished) task of converting it into a habitable space.
First, the crumbling structure was pared back with surgical precision, preserving notable features such as the silos and defining new spaces with the remaining fabric of the structure. The interior of the factory was reshaped to create hugely impressive rooms. The main factory hall, with its ten-metre high ceilings and silos which look like upturned missiles, is known aptly as the cathedral and now houses the main meeting room and exhibition space of Ricardo Bofill's architectural practice. The rest of the office occupies one of the silos, the pristine white floors and walls in stark contrast to the rough textures and industrial details of the exterior. The architect's home occupies another wing of the building, dominated by a cavernous double-height living room, the space softened cleverly with low level lighting and use of white furniture and ceiling-height drapes. The site is covered extensively with greenery. There are impeccably manicured lawns on the roofs and tropical plants in the surrounding landscape, creating a slightly surreal vision of a retro-futuristic castle in ruins.
This is a truly remarkable building, a breathtakingly ambitious labour of love that is in turn brutalist, surreal and poetic.
Recreate the uniquely intimate vibe of the vast rooms of La Fabrica with large comfortable seating such as the Gentry sofa from Moroso, light colours such as the Koila lounge chair from Alki and natural materials such as the Keel coffee table from New Works.
Add a surreal touch to high ceilings with LZF's spectacular Candelabro suspension light. Alternatively, create an intimate atmosphere with table lights such as the Flamingo lamp from Ghidini 1961 and the Karl-Johan lamp from New Works.
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