When we move into a home, we expect to make it our own. We expect the home to give us a space where our personalities can thrive and all our comforts are taken care. When the home does not suit us any longer, we tend to move on and make ourselves at home elsewhere – a bigger family, a move, a change in one’s financial standing; there are a number of reasons for such a switch. Yet, how many of us actually sit down and think about what a home wants from us? The home that shields us from rain, hail, sun and storm even as it houses our moments of laughter and tears, wants only one thing – purpose.
And that is exactly what Ricardo Bofill accorded to this abandoned cement producing factory. With a mission in his heart and plenty of designer vision in his mind, Ricardo spent 45 long yet fulfilling years to give this home the minimalist, industrial chic yet classic beauty that it deserved. This previously dilapidated structure was shut down during the First World War due to the amount of emissions that it sent out which was causing much pollution in the surrounding areas. Bofill and his team of architects and designers took over this space and created magic.
The structure has retained its circular wings and the arrangement with the grills on the windows works towards portraying a castle like look, without the frills and flourishes. This look thrives primarily on scale, which has been kept intact with the largesse and clustered structuring. The exposed cement look works towards making the space seem very industrial chic in modern design terms, while the rooftop gardens bring in a touch of green to match all the greenery below. This also helps in retaining the flow of design.
The designers have also kept the basic framework alive to help the classic flavour of the structure come to a sparkling finish. These doors have been fashioned into the niches so that one has a peekaboo look in a quasi Gothic feature which overlooks a stunning marble courtyard. Inside, our gaze is held by the mystical columns of golden light.
A minimalist golden warehouse look has been achieved with the parchment hued walls that bear testament of the times the home has seen. The designers have kept the double height features intact and even the pipelines now act as an art installation of sorts, merging and embossing in equal measure as they catch the light and your attention. The effect has been well balanced with the use of simple white furniture as well as indoor potted plants clustered around the pillars. The artwork and low lying shelves point at a loft like feel while the billowing white drapes lend an ethereal feel to it all.
Taking a leaf from all things Gothic and in a bid to marry it with the industrial, the designers have also developed utilitarian furniture with linear flourishes. As a result we have slim pieces and functional arrangements with a touch of the exotic like the table in the centre.
This corner is definitely my favourite with the subdued drama of the colonial style furniture and the grand piano. Sitting here, against the large pillar like structure will almost make one imagine the setting for a concert of sorts – such is the symphony of the design elements!
The designers have created this pristine corner with quirky classic furniture as a spot where you can work in peace – such is the soothing vibe of this spot!
Unparalleled beauty and the columns that make up the wings are punctuated by greenery and an untouched glory. Kudos to the architects for creating a home that makes for a resounding ode to the times gone by!