REPALSA Office Building


REPALSA Office Building

Venta del Gallo, Llanera

In 1958, Refinería de Productos del Alquitrán Sociedad Anónima, REPALSA, was set up in La Venta del Gallo (Llanera) as a continuation of the activity historically carried out by the Santa Bárbara Explosives Factory and the Cayés Gunpowder Factory.

The refinery's production was initially linked to iron, steel and chemical-related activities promoted by the ENSIDESA factory with the establishment of a tar plant from which REPALSA was supplied. In the late sixties, the company's production diversified, moving towards the transformation of residual oils derived from tar, giving rise to semi-finished products. Starting from tar and coal oils, a bleach causticising plant was set up in 1967.

However, the complex underwent a progressive growth in the 1960s and the beginning of the following decade, when several buildings were erected as workshops, warehouses, offices and laboratories. Among these buildings, the office building is particularly noteworthy, built in 1972 and designed by the architect Ignacio Álvarez Castelao. The building is organised into two structures: a cylindrical one, anchored to the ground, and a rectangular one raised on steel pilotis. The cylindrical part was intended to house the entrances and services, while the rectangular upper one housed the offices. The façade design is remarkable due to the aesthetic effect of the prefabricated concrete elements, following geometric patterns and accentuating the chiaroscuro effects. This can be related to other works by the architect, such as the Faculty of Geology or the office building for the headquarters of HUNOSA, both in Oviedo.

In 1993, REPALSA ceased its activity and five years later its facilities were acquired by Química Alba, S.A., a company dedicated to the treatment of industrial waste. Nowadays, the complex is in a shocking state of abandonment.

Natalia Tielve García