A Tribute to Ricardo Bofill: 1939-2022

  • WORDS Karen McCartney
  • It was with great sadness that the architecture world learnt of the death, at 82, of renowned Catalan architect Ricardo Bofill. By always thinking radically and creating a multi-disciplinary office that included artists, poets and literary critics, he built an innovative international practice of great scale, scope and importance.

    My own experience of his awe-inspiring capacity for taking on the seemingly impossible was illustrated by a tour of La Fabrica in Sant Just Desevern, Barcelona. Buying an immense disused concrete factory in the early 1970’s Bofill acknowledged it was “All about destroying in order to find the hidden beauty inside the factory. It is almost a sculptural work of destruction.” The silos house office and domestic spaces, which are not over-restored, with Bofill favouring the layers of the buildings past life to be visible and very much part of the present.

    The experience brought home the sheer scale and geometry – ordered but not precise – and the effectiveness of the Babylonian gardens that drape the building forms. One minute we were teetering across a precarious walkway at great height,  from where you could see his ground-breaking multi-storey residential building Walden 7, and the next we were in the bowels of the labyrinth looking at a computer room that was the hub for the global practice. His incredible legacy lives on in his spectacular buildings and through his studio, Ricardo Bofill Taller de Arquitectura (RBTA) headed up by his two sons Ricardo Emilio Bofill and Pablo Bofill.

    Ricardo Bofill

    Photography by Gregori Civera

    Photography by Gregori Civera

    Photography by Gregori Civera

    Photography by Gregori Civera

    Ricardo Bofill’s two sons, Ricardo Emilio Bofill and Pablo Bofill | Photography by Gregori Civera

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