Flexible Factory

Transforming a century-old spirits factory into a dynamic public space


Urban design




The 90 000 sq m territory of the former spirits manufacturing plant, built at the very beginning of the 20th century, became the subject of an open international architectural competition. It needed to be transformed into a vivid public space for hosting various activities all year round. The team came up with an idea of a progressive development over the course of several years, and the incorporation of storytelling into the design process. The approach turned out to be successful, resulting in the team's victory in the competition.

The winning project was designed to simulate the gradual, stepwise development of the territory, based on its internal resources, to create a flexible system and an algorithm for future changes. An important aspect of the project was to create an inventory of mobile objects made of various industrial elements and materials found at the factory and, therefore, provide the territory’s naturally occurring processes with a certain flexibility and variability.

In order to emphasise the uniqueness of the place, the project has proposed a number of spectacular, and somewhat ‘theatrical’ spaces that will produce diverse and memorable experiences. The essence of the proposal was to concentrate on non-material and symbolic changes in the early stages which, in turn, would trigger processes that attract resources for capital reconstruction.

In collaboration with arenas basabe palacios.