Walking into the abode of Ricardo Bofill must be like stepping into a dreamy cross between a derelict building site and an overgrown garden.
In fact, this is more or less what the Spanish architect must have had in mind when he embarked on the project. La Fabrica, an antiquated cement factory spanning 3,100 square metres, was the site that Bofill chose to house both his new studio and his home.
Built shortly after World War I, La Fabrica was repeatedly updated while still in use, adapting to the changing need of industry. Bofill did not want to remove or disguise this chequered past but he instead aimed to recreate the site as part garden, part home, part industrial cathedral, and part sculpture.
By selectively removing certain walls with dynamite, sealing off hazardous areas, and planting sprawling flora, the factory was transformed. Over time, the vegetation has intermingled with the industrial surfaces and has blurred the distinction between the two.
Original factory spaces were enlarged by stripping away internal partitions and brightly lit with many newly designed window arches.
What was once a storage silo is now a skylit spiral staircase, while one of the former factory floors now contains a secluded library and reading area enclosed by sweeping white curtains.
It must have been a Herculean project for Ricard Bofill to bring his new studio residence into reality, but the work was clearly worth it. The result is surreal compound within which sits industry, unfettered greenery and elegant architecture.
Not only is it the perfect secluded spot for creative endeavour but it also makes the homes of us regular folks look just a little bit shit.