Imagine stumbling on an enigmatic “ruin” – an old cement factory with cavernous rooms, punctuated by massive supports (sometimes for things no longer there), and dotted with stairs leading to nowhere. A child’s dream to explore… and a playground for a whimsical and very cool reinvention. With some careful demolition and clever insertions, the old factory was transformed into offices, archives, a library, theatre, and a huge multi-function space.
I love this thing! The whole thing is visually interesting and teasing, very fairy tale like (which is very much helped by the gothic-like tracery added to windows and around doors). The rich texture of the rough concrete helps a bunch too, evoking the feel of natural stone that the castle was either carved in to, or otherwise built out of. Surrounded by gardens and greenery, it really is like inhabiting a forgotten world.
And the rooms inside are a delight as well. From the old concrete silos (round rooms! aka turrets!) to the great machine halls, everywhere the original (industrial) shapes are used to excellent effect. Solid yet soaring, heavy yet filled with light, with smooth wood and steel contrasting with the rough natural concrete, it’s a delight for the senses.
Sorry for the million pictures here, but there are just so many of them that catch my imagination. I’ve gotta try and visit this place sometime. What an amazing piece of adaptive reuse, using the bones of something gone to create something wonderful and new.