Author:
Domus
Published:
August 20, 2015
Categories:
Architecture Visual arts

STATS FROM THE SET:
Size of the house: 5,000 square meters.
Bedrooms and baths: Eight bedrooms, 12 baths.
Main building materials: Concrete, ceramic, wood, glass.
Year house built: 1975.
Oldest item: The furnace, from 1920.
Newest addition: A bedroom and a bathroom, in 2010.
Ceiling Height (at highest point): 10 meters (The Cathedral)

“I was really young and I really wanted to change the world, and they kicked me out of university so I went to travel and build and I became a nomad. Leaving Barcelona in the car, I saw smoke coming out of the factory, this one, the cement factory in Barcelona, the oldest one in Spain, with the tallest chimney. It was polluting the surrounding area and I found out that it was about to close and move. I wanted to buy all the land so that I could occupy and work in the factory and build my own team of sociologists, philosophers, mathematicians, painters and writers. I wanted it to be an example of a transformation of use, the use of a cement factory to a place to live and work. Because, of course, what was here was monstrous, horrible, I had to see the elements of this vernacular industry which in a way were very primitive but interesting and captivating. The house is a ruin that has been restructured and remade, where the spaces are useful for everything. The advantage of this labyrinth is that people don’t find each other and everyone can live as they want to.
This space was transforming into a green space that dindn’t let off smoke, where instead of seeing smoking chimney, you would see a cylinder, a sculpure.
All this was done with a very minimalistic approach, a simple approach with simple materials. I don’t like the appearance of luxury, I think luxury is in space, in a lifestyle, but not in having a gold object or in painting in gold the building facade. I’ve never done it, I don’t do it and I don’t like it. This bourgeois way of living with the traditional house, I’ve never really liked it. This is a place where the traditional is not conceived and each one of us has its space and we find each other in some of the spaces when we want to see each other.
This place crosses aesthetic trends: a brutalist vision, with a romantic vision of useless structures that have been left for pure aesthetic composition. There are even some poor architectural treatments. It is organized by mental activities and psychological activities rather than the functions of a typical household. Critics can’t define it, they have hard time with this house, they don’t know where to go, and as it is a place where different aesthetics crossover, it creates an appropriate environment, for different moods.
Space is like sound, there are people who have it and people who don’t. People who go to a place and look up and understand the space, and people who just look at the floor and walk through it who don’t have a spatial sensibility. The two things that excite me and make me vibrate are the aesthetic feeling, beauty is what moves me and, after that, intelligence.
It’s my place, it’s my reference, it’s where I live, here I start to think and project, my life is always made up of projections, because the profession of architecture leads you to project the future, so this influences your own mind. My life is always a project moving forward more than a story from the past” Ricardo Bofill

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