6. Tribute to Ricardo Bofill. Who inspired us until the end.
Ricardo Bofill was a Spanish architect who has inspired us and will always inspire us to innovate in architecture through his avant-garde vision, ideals about society, environmental concepts, and lifestyle.
As a way of remembering him after his death on January 14, 2022, we would like to compile some of his most admirable works and concepts.
La Muralla Roja and Xanadu in Las Manzaneras urbanization, 1971 and 1972.
These two buildings of Ricardo Bofill are a clear example of interconnection with the surroundings and the terrain. La Muralla Roja is a residential building in the urbanization Las Manzaneras (Calpe, Spain) that appears from the rocks as a hermetic fort, through its irregular façade, marking a profile that is complemented by the contour lines and textures of the rocky cliff.
The forms of the building, which evoke constructivist aesthetics, sought to explore the Mediterranean and Arab architecture as a reference in their way of living in a community. Developing the collective spaces in an innovative way and creating a perfect symbiosis between public and private spaces through courtyards interconnected by a series of stairs, patios and bridges, which give access to the 50 apartments.
For Xanadú, Bofill, interpreted the Peñón de Ifach evolution, a large rock a few kilometers into the sea that can be seen from the land. Developing hyperbolic roofs to offer the best views of the ocean and the Rock adapts to the local construction techniques and light needs, creating a dynamic facade through different planes that interact with the multiple lights, shadows, and views over the landscape.
“…This is a new challenge – to come up with a new urban vision and address architecture’s relation to nature and changing climate.“
Hotel W La Barceloneta, 2009
Hotel W Barcelona was built in the context of the urban renewal of the coastline of Barcelona. It has a reflective glass façade that multiplies the reflections depending on the light, the colors, and the point of view, reflecting the blue of the sky and the Mediterranean Sea, mimicking the landscape and its colors. It has become a landmark, a point of reference in the city, giving an emblematic character to this port.
“…Architecture needs to have a relation to the genius loci of every place. In other words, to its spirit and DNA…“
La Fábrica, 1975
La Fábrica was born from an abandoned cement factory during the first period of industrialization in Catalonia, which he decided to modify and transform into a working studio.
With the idea that form does not follow function, this new program was able to adapt to a space designed for something different—creating a space illuminated with natural light and overlooking the gardens.
Recycling a structure in disuse gave it a second life. It preserved its memory, giving great importance to the exterior vegetation, letting it be part of the building, demonstrating the passage of time and its romanticism.
“…Every city is a much more complex place, a conflicting, contradicting, and corrupt place. Cities need to be repaired and cured, not demolished and built from scratch…“
Thank you, Ricardo Bofill, for inspiring and teaching us so much.
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