Home is where the heart is, or at least, that’s the way the old saying goes. It doesn’t matter where your home is or what it looks like, so long as it’s full with the people you love.
That’s one of the reasons why architects design houses that they hope are not only beautiful and functional, but that reflect the people who are living inside of it. If they can make these homes unique, it’s even better.
When one architect was on vacation in Spain, he stumbled across an abandoned old building. Everyone else saw something that should be torn down, but he only saw the potential to transform it into an incredible home—provided he could get past its former function.
In the early 1970s while on a vacation in Barcelona, Spain, architect Richard Bofill made a fascinating discovery. He was out on a hike when he discovered an abandoned cement factory—and he decided that he just had to have it. However, it was what he planned to do with it that no one saw coming…
It might have taken him more than 40 years, but over that time Richard managed to convert the old factory into a truly exceptional, one-of-a-kind home. Doesn’t it look like something out of a fairy tale? It’s more of a castle than a factory now!
As he continued working on the property, he made amazing discoveries about it. “I found enormous silos, a tall smokestack, four kilometers [2.5 miles] of underground tunnels,” said Richard. Everything he found became a part of his vision.
The original renovation of the cement factory, which Richard called La Fabrica, only took him and his team about two full years to complete. However, it took decades to complete the lush gardens that made the exteriors of La Fabrica so distinctive.
Richard was always passionate about landscape design, and he was eager to plant a vast array of lush and beautiful plants around his home. It would also reduce his home’s carbon footprint. The garden included eucalyptus, palm, and olive trees.
The impressive structure may no longer be a factory, but it was definitely not just a house anymore, either. The entire renovation included a cathedral, a model workshop, archive rooms, a residence, and a studio workspace consisting of four floors where Richard’s architectural firm worked.
The factory was far from completed! Richard had no plans of stopping when it came to La Fabrica. “I have the impression of living in … a closed universe which protects me from the outside and everyday life,” he said. “Life goes on here in a continuous sequence, with very little difference between work and leisure.”
While there was a private residence inside La Fabrica, sections of the building were opened up for visitors to explore and photograph. The only problem with visiting Richard’s passion project was that you might never want to leave it again!
You could spend countless hours exploring the vast grounds and never get the same view of the sprawling property twice. It would be the perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon, whether you’re passionate about architecture or not!
One of the ways Richard put his own unique stamp on the place was by making use of the way the building played with the light. This living area had windows and doors that opened directly into the garden, which allowed for tons of natural sunlight.
Richard was sure not to leave one corner in disrepair. He managed to create a respite from the rigors of city life—even in the areas that might’ve seemed uncomfortable. Just look at this clever dining area!
Each room in the cement factory was completely unique. It was important to Richard to create a house that provided his guests with surprises around every single possible corner. It’s safe to say that he’s achieved that and more!
Part of what made this place so stunning was the way Richard used the original architecture in the renovated design. Not only did this likely save him a fortune when it came time to renovate, but it also gave the building a totally distinct look.
La Fabrica’s renovations offered lots of spaces where visitors could work, relax, socialize, and even express their inner pianist. If you’ve ever dreamed of performing at a concert hall, you could practice your Beethoven next to one of the silos!
You’d never expect to find a room like this inside of the factory if you looked at it from the outside, but that’s what made it so charming. In fact, you could argue that the feeling of the unexpected was what made the entire project so wonderful.
Isn’t this house just absolutely spectacular? Even calling it a house at all feels like a bit of an understatement. One thing is for certain: it’s pure inspiration!
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