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With Spanish master architect Ricardo Bofill as the subject for our new issue mono.kultur #36, we’re going to focus on a few highlights of his singularly prolific and versatile career spanning five decades, since so many of his projects are just such good fun to examine.

And where better to start than at the mythical La Fábrica, the heart and mind of Bofill’s operations – a former cement factory on the outskirts of Barcelona that Bofill acquired in the 1970s and converted into his office and home.

‘I was looking for the ugliest, most polluted, most anti-architectural building in the most anti-ecological condition I could find. Back then, the whole suburban area of Barcelona was full of cement factories and pollution. The challenge was to change the use, to transform the place, to reinvent a new aesthetic, and to make this industrial, ugly object into something beautiful,’ Bofill says in our new issue, and a new aesthetic he has achieved: a thoroughly surreal mixture of industrial heritage, high tech interiors and Catalan Civic Gothic style.

It is a stunning example of hardcore gritty industrial reality rendered impotent by sugarcoating concrete with lush tropical gardens and buttering up the past with designer furniture, creating a dream-like fantasia that is as ludicrous as it is unique. We thoroughly admire it, of course.

All images by Taller de Arquitectura

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  1. here & now › BOFILLTOPIAS #02: WALDEN-7 on Thursday, July 3, 2014 at 10:54

    [...] of Barcelona, surely not by coincidence named Walden-7. Constructed right next to his headquarters La Fábrica, it will be the one of his buildings that Bofill can see every day when he looks out of the [...]