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19 Mar

Ricardo Bofill – Architecture as a Dream Fantasy

Ricardo Bofill is almost 82 years old but his approach to architecture and life continues to be young and modern. He knows how to “read” space in the best way and continues to dream and build on a grander scale. Ricardo Bofill can find the best way to experience and provide a great experience in all spaces. In the history of architecture, Bofill is a gem of the ’70-’80s radicalism. However, this statement makes him laugh and brushes it off  saying: “To be unsatisfied and critical of your own work is very important to keep this internal engine constantly running.”

In 1963 the Spanish postmodernist was only 23 but had already begun to rewrite the history of classical architecture. It seemed as he could control time and space through different architectural ideas and shapes. His first early projects were space-age dreamscapes, filled with fantasy and energy. “Architecture must be specific for each place. So what I try to do is to keep inventing myself”.

History in the making

Founded in 1963, Ricardo Bofill Taller de Arquitectura (RBTA) is one of Spain’s most prominent studios, with a long list of projects: from Les Halles and the Christian Dior headquarters in Paris to the JP Morgan’s skyscraper in Chicago and the Shangri-La Hotel in Beijing. In 1973 Ricardo Bofill and his father Emilio, created a summer house in Mont-ras, a few kilometres from the Costa Brava. The formula of this radical building is a harmonious balance between “stay together and live apart.”

According to the family, Bofill buildings don’t have to fit the standardized expectations. In fact, why find influence from the shape of a castle, the energy of massive concrete or the swirl of technicolor? It looks extraordinary but Bofill painted the swimming pool at his own holiday home a horror-film red. “Nowadays we want everyone who comes through our door to feel comfortable, but that’s not Bofill’s idea here. It goes much further… You connect with the space in a more spiritual way” – says filmmaker Albert Moya about Bofill’s architecture attitude.

Ricardo Bofill - La Fabrica

La Fabrica

In the centre of the architect’s story is La Fabrica, a former cement factory. La Fabrica’s story starts in 1973 and soon after evolved in his studio and residence. “I like the idea of a ruin philosophically” – Bofill says. In this building, a mad space of dreamlike fantasy, he balanced between old and new, colour and light, industrial past and curious future. It arises as a beauty in the most unlikely place. “I wanted to live there for the pleasure of the challenge,” Bofill once said about his never-ending project.

The advice Bofill gives all young architects is “to work at different scales is the architect’s wisdom. By understanding scale, we begin to understand how to design, which ultimately allows us to make these spaces dominate and make it human.”


Learn about the Ricardo Bofill inspiration behind our collection “Essence of a Woman” and the play with structures, colours and feelings here!