The site chosen for the factory inaugurated a new expansion area for the city, it was located between the former convent of San Diego, the San Telmo School and the walls of the Jardín del Alcázar. The chosen site was located at the junction of four royal roads, in addition the Guadalquivir and the Tagarete limited the implantation, and was close to the Door of Jerez and the orchard of the Royal Fortress.
At the beginning of the eighteenth century the old tobacco factory had become too small. For that reason in 1725 the construction of a new building is ordered.
After shuffling other options, such as locating the new factory in the Old Shipyards, the building ended up being located in its current location, near the College of San Telmo whose owners had to buy the land where the new facilities would be erected.
The work was started in 1728 by the engineer Ignacio Sala, who left it three years later. The first reform project is due to Diego Bordick and took place in 1731, the second reform would be carried out in 1750 J. Barnola and F. Davalillo. The most important transformations took place between 1750 and 1771, by the Dutch engineer Sebastián van der Borcht, assisted by J. L. Catalán, Vicente Bengoechea, Pedro de Silva, José Herrera, Antonio Figueroa, Lucas Cintora and Cayetano da Costa.
The engineer Ignacio Sala, abandoned the work when the foundation had not yet been completed. The Dutch engineer Sebastian Van der Borcht will be the author of the main façade, patios, ships, chapel, jail and pit. The skylights are the work of architects Pedro de Silva and Lucas Cintora, while Vicente Catalán Bengoechea worked on the facades and doorways of the jail and chapel, inside which San Fernando, San Carlos Borromeo and the Blessed Virgin Mary were worshiped.
When the expansion of the city took place in the area where the building was located, at the beginning of the 20th century, it acted as an element that ordered it, acting as an articulating piece in the occupation of the rural from the city.
After finishing its activity as a tobacco factory the building underwent a great transformation in its distribution to adapt to its new university destination, several Faculties and the Rector of the University of Seville were located here. The conditioning works for the new use were carried out in 1953, by Antonio Balbontín de Orta and A. Delgado Roig those of the Faculties of Law and Philosophy, and by Antonio Toro Buiza those of the Faculties of Sciences and the Rectorate area.
It is a building of important dimensions built from 1728 to 1757. It has a square floor with angled ledges and is surrounded on three of its fronts - south, east and west - by a moat. The site where it is located also houses two smaller free buildings located at both ends of the main facade, which were dedicated to chapel and prison. Between the building and the escarpment of the pit was contained a landscaped area.
The exempt buildings are small, have "L" floor and extended with garages until touching the wall, which ran in front of the complex, delimiting what would be vulgarly called "factory square".
The factory distinguishes two well-differentiated nuclei: the residential, developed around the main facade, and the industrial, which occupies the rest of the set. This last sector has large covered galleries with vaulted vaults resting on sturdy pillars and illuminated by skylights on the upper floor.
Inside, the courtyards stand out, some of which are covered with glazed cover crystals and the bodies of the main stairs that reflect the building's representativeness.
In the residential sector, behind the large door that presides over it, we find the muleteers' patio, which has the character of an interior-exterior articulator, and a large hallway from which a double staircase starts, which connects two courtyards, the one with the clock and the main one The first has two floors, and the second one, with a fountain in 1756, carved in 1756 by Cayetano da Costa.
The corners of the main facade of the building are emphasized with the advancement of the facade line, after which the houses of the heads and superintendents of the factory are distributed around small courtyards.
The covers of the set are roofs that are hidden to the outside by means of parapets and on them an interesting group of skylights of beautiful baroque design appears.
The building is made of stonework and its elevation is more reminiscent of a palace than that of a barracks, thus saving the rigidity of volumetric composition typical of some works of military engineers.
The general façade body, two stories high, is modulated by large pilasters raised on a running pedestal, its rhythm is 7-4-3-4-7 and on the wings that join with the corner houses the pilasters duplicates appear repeated. This giant apilastrad, allows to compose a plane of great development.
In the design of each module of this front, the lower window, which is crowned with stone dust cover, the mezzanine and balcony of the upper body, are crowned with triangular tympanum -except the axis of the entrances of the houses that are circular-refence the same stone as the plane of the wall.
The main cover is the one located in the residential sector. This is built in composite order and has two bodies and a large balcony. It is flanked by pairs of columns and is topped by a triangular pediment that crowns vases and the figure of Fame, work of Cayetano da Costa.
The protruding bodies of the angles of the main facade have lintel covers with curved pediments and vases, and as for the lateral elevations, these were designed to be seen above the wall that surrounded them.
The elevations are crowned by parapets that hide the roofs to the outside. The decoration is based on vases of lilies, which culminate the bodies of paired columns, and pinnacles, in the corners, executed by Acosta, and that can also be seen in the Lonja, the Cathedral, and the church of the Savior.
Gerena and Morón stone was used in the construction, the latter being a limestone coloured albero with which the base, the main portal and the cornice were executed.
Finally, the monumental portals that we find today in the South and East elevations were carved during the works that took place in the factory to adapt it to the university campus.
Fuente: bdi del Patrimonio Inmueble de Andalucía (Junta de Andalucía)