Al-fondaq is an Arabic word for a building that is both an overnight stay for travelers and traders, and a community warehouse and trade for surplus grain. It is the spatial preludeto the market. It is the direct ancestor of the word ‘fonda’. This name is a tribute to the Muslim heritage of our territory of the Camp de Tarragona. Alfondac is a guest housescattered in several places, far from each other, so that each can become a stage for yourown journey. Alfondac is not a new hotel concept, it is an archaic idea. A founding act of architecture is hospitality. Welcoming other people, foreigners or friends, strangers or equals.
Alfondac is always under construction, constantly improving and transforming. And we value what your emotions and thoughts are during and after your stay to help us in the constant iteration of each space, component and part. A livable prototype.
Each of the habitats that make up Alfondac question a paradigm of what a domestic
space is. This is a Living Lab focused on how each of your needs, hopes, dreams and
fears flourish in unconventional spaces.
If you are interested in some of our systems or products, you can try them out so you can experience how they feel before you decide to take them home or collaborate with us to design and make your own habitat. A house is for life, so it is best to live it beforehand. For a few hours, days or even weeks. Instead of making these sites available through global digital platforms, we prefer to have a more direct relationship with our guests
At Alfondac we test and present our Homeful system, a family of modular home
components that allow a fast, cheap and durable transformation of buildings that have
long been abandoned, suggesting multiple situations that each inhabitant can easily
configure according to changing daily needs, weekly, seasonal or lifelong. Its materials
and processes are of very low impact on the environment and can be assembled with DIY tools.
In order to allow present and future generations the opportunity for a better life, we
must build less and build better. It is essential to make the most of what we already
have. The number of abandoned old homes is increasing exponentially. It is often too
costly and tiring to undertake a reform, with high levels of uncertainty about time, costs and outcome. This leads to extremely low quality renovations to maximize sales or rental profits, or for expensive refurbishment for the privileged few, which often leads to gentrification.
How can we re-inhabit these places in the most economical, fastest, and predictable way so that they become not only inhabitable, but responsive to the contemporary and arcane needs of human beings?
If we focus our efforts on a very compact layout, the costs of services and materials
will be minimized, and the space freed up for the inhabitants will be maximized to
transform them as they see fit. This amalgam of activities is also an opportunity to explore unexpected relationships between the traditional separation of domestic spaces that still have a strong patriarchal and hygienic burden, blurring their borders and bringing them closer to freer and braver ways of living.
Applying the principles of DfMAD (Design for Manufacture, Assembly and Disassembly) facilitates the on-site construction process, allowing for short- and long-term modifications, including total disassembly and easy removal of rental conditions.
The first iteration of this system has been implemented in the upcycling of an old
photography studio in the Raval Santa Anna in Reus. Here, we have developed a family
of 100x100 cms terrazzo tops, manufactured by Huguet Mallorca. Each of the pieces
in the series responds to a ‘two for one’ logic, where the traditionally separate activities of cooking and bathing can coexist. For example, the entire surface of the kitchen top becomes a sink, with two different depths and areas for washing and handling food,drying kitchen utensils, and also for personal hygiene.
In this space we also find some of the models of Shelterhood, a spin-off of a research
project on mobile furniture for ten generations, made with numerical control milling tools, and some of the structures we have built for a book of huts for children that Gustavo Gili Editorial will publish in the coming months.