Once upon a time…

Once upon a time, in a small village of Catalonia, El Catllar (near Tarragona), an old and abandoned paper and textile factory built in 1754 was rescued from collapsing and disappearing for ever. In this historical patrimony, a new type of “experimental textile” was being woven.

While society was facing many simultaneous crisis—climate, environmental, financial, social and political—people living at this factory aimed at looking at the problem from another angle: rethinking life at the village level, in complementarity to what was being done at the city level.

This “Once upon a time” will soon be a reality in El Catllar with the La Fàbrica de la Transició cooperative. In summer 2020 we received the Administration’s consent to go ahead with our co-housing project in one of the three buildings. The next step is to find entities or organizations (cooperatives, companies, trusts, foundations…) that share our vision and want to join us by taking over of the two remaining buildings (with a total area of approximately 3,000 m2).

Stay tuned to get updated: click here!

[📸 Entrance to the Fàbrica de la Transició]

Panel 1

The project

At a time when society seems trapped in several crises, La Fàbrica de la Transició (The Transition Factory) plans to offer one of the most progressive living and experimentation place in Europe. A hub where theory meets practice, where solutions to problems are created and where these can be replicated in other villages/cities.

What do we expect to be found at La Fàbrica de la Transició?

  1. A place to live and to experiment sustainability with 4,000+ m2 of living space and 1,000+ m2 of common spaces.
  2. A place with an orchard around where it is possible to grow our own organic food.
  3. A place to produce our own renewable energy.
  4. A place to reinvent mobility, by developing electromobility and sharing mobile systems, in addition to the public buses and trains.
  5. An international coworking space to work + high tech FabLab for hardware and software open source solutions.
  6. An evocative space where nature and art are linked, where artistic performances of all types can be developed.
  7. A high quality conference venue for individuals and organizations working to build a better world.
  8. A place to reinvent work and life at the village level, in connection with Barcelona and Tarragona, as well as other villages nearby.

[📸 Model done by the architects team]

Panel 2

Our vision

These are the main elements behind our project. We hope it will also inspire you!

  1. LONG TERM VISION. In opposition to the currently dominant “short-termism”, we want to create a project with a long term perspective
  2. SUSTAINABLE HOUSING. A house is a right, and not a simple good to buy and sell. We will therefore create affordable and anti-speculative housing.
  3. COMMON PROPERTY & DECISION MAKING. Decisions are made by all members.
  4. TRANSPARENCY. Information will be available for all members, and not in the hands of a minority.
  5. MUTUALISATION. Inefficient individual use will be replaced, when possible, by an efficient common practice to share spaces, knowledge, ideas, time, goods, services, etc.
  6. PRIVACY & EQUILIBRIUM. Aside to the mutualization, we also believe in a balance between private and common spaces, in order to protect the individual privacy of every single member.
  7. WORK EXPERIMENTATION. At a time of a brain-drain from villages to the cities, we want to relocate skills in the villages thanks to Internet, coworking, and FabLabs, among others.
  8. RESPONSIBILITY. No one can just sit and watch at The fACTory. Each according to their abilities, everyone has rights, as well as duties.
  9. COMPLEMENTARY DIFFERENCES. Differences are optimized to make solutions more sustainable: local & international, private & public, individual & community, hardware & software, young & less-but-still young, male & female, cities and villages.
  10. DIALOGUE. Last but not least, complementary differences requires to deeply learn the skill of dialogue through facilitated meetings and decision-makings. No one has got the full truth: we all share parts of it.

[📸 Gaià Reservoir, 30 minutes walking from the la Fàbrica de la Transició]

Panel 3

The architects

Saül, Matthieu, Rafael & Adolfo met around a similar idea and passion: reviving dying villages and foster transition solutions.

Matthieu is the “social architect” with 10 years experiences in urban eco-village and cohousing. Group facilitator and co-founder of L’Echappée cohousing (18 flats) in the center of Brussels, Belgium. Doctor in Political Sciences and film director of The Brussels Business about corporate lobbying (ARTE, RTBF). Author of Homo Cooperans 2.0 (French, Spanish) about the collaborative economy, with a preface by Michel Bauwens. Contact him in English, French, Italian or Spanish.

Saül is the “physical architect” with 20 years of experiences in the field of public and private architecture in Catalunya. He is also among many other things the core project leader at Reviure Solanell, an abandoned village at the border between France and Spain. Contact him in Catalan or Spanish.

Rafael is the cultural architect, as a geographer and a photographer with more than twenty years of experience in rural development processes and heritage valuation. Expert in the recovery of traditional walking and trekking paths as well as in the promotion of alternative mobility in today’s societies. Conductor of the projects for the creation of networks of roads of the Priorat and of the Anella Verda de Tarragona. Contact him in Catalan, Spanish or English.

[📸 El Pont del Diable (Devil’s Bridge), a Roman Aqueduct in Tarragona, inside l’Anella Verda (Green Ring), a 2-hours trekking from la Fàbrica]

Panel 4

Join the adventure!

We have now legally secured a contract with the current owner of the Factory, and we have received the support from the village elected representatives.

In case you want to know more about the project as a potential resident, an investor or a supporter, and be at the forefront of transition alternatives in Europe, do not hesitate to contact us using this form!

[📸 Cala Jobera and Tamarit Castle, at 7 km from la Fàbrica]