a 1960s industrial textiles factory in southern spain is being renovated and repurposed by spanish studio system arquitectura. the project is sited in malaga, a coastal city of the autonomous region in the south of spain. the midcentury economic hardships seen by this region led to the establishment of the ‘intelhorce’ textiles industry, whose construction was completed in 1963. although the industry played a significant role in transforming the region’s economy, by the end of the twentieth century the complex had been abandoned. the intelhorce building is the only one of the complex that had been saved from the total demolition.

system arquitectura intelhorce factory
the intelhorce textile factory exterior in its original condition
all images by fernando alda



system arquitectura studio, led by rafael urquiza sánchez, was commissioned to execute the renovation of the factory, which is now in its final phase. the repurposed space will serve as the new distribution center for a children’s fashion company. the space is characterized by an exposed ribbed structure forming a sawtooth enclosure of enormous skylights. the enclosure is raised with Y-shaped concrete pillars on which prefabricated reinforced concrete trusses rest.

system arquitectura intelhorce factory
the factory had fallen to a state of disuse



the renovation emphasizes the diaphanous structure, the expansive volume of the space, and quantity of light flooding in from overhead. the exterior has received a new facade which had been designed with folded panels and reinforced concrete to reduce solar gain. the folded surface of the facade recalls a textile, a memory of the programmatic heritage of the building.

system arquitectura intelhorce factory
the sawtooth enclosure allows in overhead light 

system arquitectura intelhorce factory
the space is littered with debris and graffiti

system arquitectura intelhorce factory
early stages of construction
system arquitectura intelhorce factory
the renovated exterior with a new, pleated facade

system arquitectura intelhorce factory
the renovated interior

system arquitectura intelhorce factory
final stages of construction

system arquitectura intelhorce factory
the renovation emphasizes the lightness of the space

system arquitectura intelhorce factory
the expansive ribbed spans

system arquitectura intelhorce factory
the original Y-shaped concrete pillars have been renovated 

system arquitectura intelhorce factory
the folded surface of the facade

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