Chrome Tanning Factory


Maribona Chrome Tanning Factory


The Maribona Tannery (Curtidora Maribona) was built between 1901 and 1902 by the Sociedad Avilés Industrial company, run by the José and Francisco Rodríguez Maribona brothers. The rich Spanish emigrants, who returned from Cuba (indianos), took part in companies such as the Compañía del Tranvía Eléctrico de Avilés (Avilés electric tramway company), the Maribona Bank and the Veriña and Villalegre sugar factories.

The facilities of the tannery were dedicated from its beginning, in 1903, to the productive process of tanning, based on the use of chrome. The architectural complex is made up of three rectangular buildings. The central one stands out in terms of size and aspect. The chromatic combination provided by the display of red brick voussoirs alternating with stone is particularly noteworthy. This pattern is repeatedly shown into the intercolumniation and corners of the complex.

After the bankruptcy of the Maribona Bank, the downfall of the industrial activity began. After years of inactivity, the facilities were acquired by the Avilés City Council in the 1980s. Following the project which was drawn up in 1989 by the architects Fernando Nanclares, Nieves Ruíz, Jesús Menéndez and Juan González Moriyón, the complex was refurbished and fitted out as a seedbed for companies.  

When the roofs and the inside of the building were destroyed by a fire, only a few structural elements and the perimeter walls could be preserved, with particular emphasis on the scenic importance of the main façade. The structure of the complex was reinforced, a reform of the roof was made taking advantage of part of the existing trusses, and the inner spaces were remodelled according to the needs resulting from its new purposes. In the central building a corridor was introduced in the upper floors, with zenithal light and ventilation, conceived as a social and distribution space. Once the refurbishment work was completed in 1995, “La Curtidora” began to operate as a business centre.

Natalia Tielve García