From the outside, you’d be forgiven for assuming that Palo Alto was just another worn-down factory in the backstreets of Poblenou. This former industrial district of Barcelona has in recent years become a hub of activity for freelance entrepreneurs, artists and those looking for an alternative to big business in Barcelona.
Step inside Palo Alto and you’ll discover an oasis of greenery and tranquility, which today is home to a number of offices and co-working spaces. The site’s owner, Javier Mariscal, is a Spanish artist who stumbled upon the building in a state of disrepair back in the early nineties and decided to take it on as a personal project.
One of the first changes to be made was the transformation of the inner courtyards from a functional factory backyard to a green wilderness. The job was given to designer José Farriol, whose mission it became to inject new life into the heart of the former factory in the form of green spaces, plants and trees.
Today, the garden has grown into itself and looks like it could have been there for centuries, boasting a bold mixture of local and exotic plants that have taken the space over as theirs. Raw materials dating back to the factory days, such as red brick and metal, are intertwined with plants to seemingly bring the space to life.
While the gardens remain a private space, visitors can wander around during the opening hours of the office spaces. Of course, the other option is to visit Palo Alto during a market weekend to see the space transformed into a dynamic cultural space and foodie paradise, frequented by the city’s trendsetters and it-crowd.