Old Cement Factory Repurposed into Modern Oasis

Talk about vision—and likely the world’s most awesome set of before-and-after pictures! When architect Ricardo Bofill purchased the run-down Barcelona property that would become known, officially, as The Cement Factory, in 1973, I can only imagine what folks must’ve thought. But within two years, Bofill transformed what can only be described as the perfect setting for nightmares into an oasis with a total floor area encompassing more than 33,000 sq. ft. that includes architectural offices for more than 40 architects (including his son, Ricardo Bofill Jr.), exhibition space for Bofill’s many architectural models, an apartment, guest rooms (living space comprises 5382 sq. ft.), and lush, expansive gardens bursting at their seams.

Once including over 30 silos, Bofill kept some structures, which were extensively cleaned and renovated, and demolished others to create the aesthetic he was looking for. Flooring is varied throughout, from rich marble to muted hardwoods, modern light and bath fixtures, narrow arched windows along the silo columns aligned with the different floors inside, and 30 ft. (or higher) ceilings in some of the rooms that remind us of the industrial roots of the space.

“The renovated construction incorporates various languages from history of Architecture, a cultured language in opposition to vernacular architecture with windows, doors, stairs and false perspectives and applied them to the exterior walls and some interiors. Slowly with the help of Catalan craftsmen the factory was transformed but will always remain as unfinished work.”