A Microcosm for Architecture: From Factory to Home

This is an incredible story of a magnificent home that lies north west of Barcelona, Spain’s cultural and artistic capital.

Ricardo Bofill cement factory courtesy of Ricardo Bofill and first seen on yatzer

Ricardo Bofill cement factory courtesy of Ricardo Bofill and first seen on yatzer

Draped in lush vegetation and offering an abundance of open spaces, this building is impressive not only in size but also in style. It’s features are so unusual for a family home and it is almost unthinkable how such a grand project came about.

Ricardo Bofill cement factory courtesy of Ricardo Bofill and first seen on yatzer

Ricardo Bofill cement factory courtesy of Ricardo Bofill and first seen on yatzer

However this was not always a scene of domestic bliss and creative outlet. This towering building once housed the industry that produces the material we use to create most modern structures – cement.

Ricardo Bofill cement factory courtesy of Ricardo Bofill and first seen on yatzer

Ricardo Bofill cement factory courtesy of Ricardo Bofill and first seen on yatzer

This is a story of a visionary architect, Ricardo Bofill, who saw the potential for something beautiful to be created from an old dilapidated factory. The result shows the success of his hard work and the realisation of his dream, to create his dream home from an edifice long forgotten and diregarded.

Ricardo Bofill cement factory courtesy of Ricardo Bofill and first seen on yatzer

Ricardo Bofill cement factory courtesy of Ricardo Bofill and first seen on yatzer

Here is a video about the former cement factory that has become an incredible living space. Expansive ceilings and crawling green plants, make this restored factory building an architectural masterpiece with a great deal of charm.


 
More information and photos found here on yatzer.com.

Calling all young entrepreneurs!

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The DO School is offering a unique one-year program for emerging social entrepreneurs that will provide training, mentoring and empowerment to young entrepreneurs to help them start their own ventures. Selected Fellows will receive a full scholarship covering the tuition fee for the year.
student

The DO School invites applications from motivated individuals from around the world to participate in the DO School Sustainable Cup Challenge. Applications are now open to young people aged between 21 and 28 and will close on September 15th 2013. Successful applicants will show exceptional motivation to contribute to solving the Challenge and will be encouraged and supported to develop their own social venture and in the areas of eg. sustainable product design, campaigning and branding, environmental activism, recycling and waste management.

The DO School Fellow Group

The DO School Fellow Group

The programme will run from February to May 2013 and the selected Fellows will spend the first 10 weeks of this one-year program on the DO School pop-up campus in New York City! The following 10 months will be spent in their home countries implementing their own ventures.

Around the World in 80 Chairs: The Tyred Chair, Cape Town – South Africa

A combination of Roy Lichtenstein, South African slang and upcycled design. Yameng Li has reimagined a simple recycling idea into a work of art, by painting this unique tyre chair in collboration with Tyred, at the Design Indaba Conference 2010 in Cape Town.

Tyred Chair by Yameng Li

Tyred Chair by Yameng Li

Yameng Li painting the Tyred Chair

Yameng Li painting the Tyred Chair

The Lost Gypsy Gallery: Shells, Sculptures and Salvage

Driving along in the tumbling hills of the Catlins on New Zealand’s South Island you can stumble across some ‘curios’ places (sorry for the cheesy wordplay – the bay close by is called Curio Bay). The Lost Gypsy Gallery in Papatowai is an incredible little place.

The Lost Gypsy Gallery

Pretty much stuck in the middle of nowhere on one of the most Southern tips of the world, surrounded by astonishing landscapes and secluded beaches is a little caravan with mechanical sculptures and handmade fountains. Coming closer you realise that most of these objects are made of recycled materials, such as scrap metal, old bottles and Paua shells.

Metal mechanical whale. When you turn the handle the whale moves gracefully as if it's swimming in water.

Metal mechanical whale. When you turn the handle the whale moves gracefully as if it’s swimming in water.

When you step into the small bus housing the Lost Gypsy Gallery, cluttered with fantastic tiny little machines or mechanical toys, it is like entering the world of an eccentric genius which is exactly what it is. The walls are covered in small circuits and retro posters of old cartoons and advertisements.

Photo courtesy of Judie Wells (her blog is available here)

Large rounded pearly shells are connected to one another with wires and suspended over a small dish of water, as you turn them they scoop up the water making trickling sounds as the water splashes out again. There are small machines operated by tiny motors or complex mechanical functions everywhere and a little train track reaches all around the little bus on which you can watch a tiny train whizzing past you.

Steps to the Lost Gypsy Gallery

Steps to the Lost Gypsy Gallery

Outside there is a small aluminium caravan which sells delicious coffee, next to it are seats and benches made of reclaimed wood and decorated with glass bottle parts, shells and other discarded materials.

Small bench made from recycled materials

Small bench made from recycled materials

Next to the old gypsy bus is the entrance to the Winding Thoughts Theatre which is full of fun ‘toys’ for grown ups. The star attraction being the piano – each key is connected to an object that makes a sound.

One is connected to a mannequin head covered in dreadlocks fastened with bells, another to a drum while one is connected to a tape recorder running on a circuit.

The Piano Shooting Gallery. Photo courtesy of My Year On A Whim (blog available here)

The complex structure allows you to create a one man band which screeches along and often triggers moving objects. The whole experience is a lot of fun mainly because of the creative energy the place exerts and all the eccentric and brilliant inventions surrounding you.

You can find the creator Blair Somerville working away in his workshop attached to The Lost Gypsy Gallery surrounded by circuits and small tools building numerous mechanical objects. He has been working on this project for the last 15 years adding more and more ambitious pieces to it as he goes along. Each piece is like a work of art, created from discarded or found materials and brought back to life with Blair’s impressive skill and vivid imagination.

Around the World in 80 Chairs: Recycled Patchwork Silk Footstool, Margate UK

Patchwork Silk Footstool by Zoe Murphy, made from un-picked wedding dresses. The prints are inspired by dense 1950′s formica patterns and are hand dyed using environmentally friendly ink.

Around the World in 80 Chairs: Shopping Trolley Chair, Sandy UK

Annie Shopping Trolley Chair by Max McMurdo for reestore in Sandy, UK.

 

Around the World in 80 Chairs: Coffee Bean Chair, London

Chair made from coffee bean sack at 19 Greek Street, London.