Architect Ricardo Bofil | Signor Bofil's stylistic evolution

The architect Ricardo Bo fi ll is one of the most talented and most prolific authors of our time. In his incomplete century (and now he is 70), the architect paid tribute to many stylistic trends recorded in brick, concrete, glass and metal buildings around the world. commercial plumbing dearborn Signor Bofil’s creativity is not liked by everyone, but it is interesting, without a doubt, to everyone: as postmodern it clings with a strange combination of elements of the classics and avant-garde, Palladianism and hi-tech. Bofil’s list of objects is quite possible to study the evolution of architecture of the twentieth century.

Kafka’s Cubist Castle

A native of Barcelona, ​​Ricardo Bofil (this is how Bofll sounds correctly in Catalan) is passionately interested in art and is a part of creative bohemia. Without graduating from the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Geneva, in 1960 he returned to his homeland, fascinated by modernism. Four years later, 29-year-old Bofil with like-minded people organizes the creative workshop Ricardo Bofll Taller de Arquitectura, which is still successfully operating.

Bofil Projects

The first projects that glorified the name of Bofil were inspired by the work of Gris and Picasso and bear a clear stamp of cubism. Among them is a hotel in Barcelona, ​​for the gloom of huge cubic volumes with slits of loopholes, it received the nickname “Kafka Castle”. In Sitges, according to his project, the residential complex “Valpinela” is being built, and in Reus, the Gaudi Quarter (Barrio Gaudi) is being built, in which residential and public buildings are clearly separated in space at different levels. Most of all cubism went to Alicante, where three complexes were built at once. “Red Wall” is an angular and gloomy complex, even in its name it expresses the energy of protest. The Xanadu Residential Complex, intended for the resort staff, is a huge ocher-colored cubic tower with curved facades, which, like a bloated box, nestles on a steep seashore. Another complex
Cubism as a direction gravitates towards bright monochrome planes, angular nervous forms and deliberate “sharp” geometry - as if a protest against traditions in art.

Almost the apotheosis and the final project in the spirit of Bofil’s cubism was the Walden-7 residential complex in Barcelona. Critics, and the architect himself, interpreted it as a commune for the marginalized, rejecting the accepted norms of social behavior. The closed nature of architecture, according to Bofil, generates a hostile opposition to the surrounding world, the red color intensifies excitement, unconscious aggression, and mean openings push to asocial behavior. The architect was convinced that Walden-7 would form a clan of extremists “dangerous” to society. But why?

By the beginning of the seventies, the architect had completed his cubist experiments and ceased to inhabit his houses with the “Kafkaesque” horror, the architect had matured and matured and started designing a comfortable living environment.

The hotel, popularly nicknamed "Kafka Castle" Residential complex Walden-7 in Barcelona

Classic colonnades and perspective esplanades

After modernist experiments, Bophil returned to the fold of neoclassicism - or rather, to postmodernism. He begins to abundantly quote decorative and constructive elements such as columns and pilasters of classical orders, arcades and arches split from above, creating a feeling of the quality of classics and enhancing spatial effects. Postmodernity distorts the proportions, but as a result, the buildings visually appear larger and more solid. Everyone in childhood read novels about court intrigues, and therefore the atmosphere of the new Palladianism, performed in new materials and structures as housing, is perceived well. There is one more plus of this kind of architecture: it allows you to level the cityscape, merging architectural monuments and modern reinforced concrete structures into a single picture, which is important for the historical cities of Europe.

Bofil once especially loved France as a platform for the embodiment of neoclassical opuses from frame reinforced concrete and facade glass. Many, but by no means all, the French paid him back. Thus, President Valerie Giscard d’Estaing called Bophil the greatest architect of our time, while the mayor of Paris and later President Jacques Chirac did not like the work of the Spaniard. Nevertheless, Paris and its suburbs have been marked by a number of Monsieur Bofil’s projects. On Sadoul Square, he erected a completely classical colonnade, and near the “Devil’s Finger” - a skyscraper in Montparnasse - he designed a completely baroque quarter Les Echelles du Baroques. Bofille has also authored innovative projects for economy-class residential areas in the new Parisian suburbs Les Espaces d? Abraxas in Marne-la-Baye, Les Arcades du Lac near Versailles, Le Belvedere St. Christophe at Cergy-Pontoise. Of course, Paris is not only worth the Mass, but also an expensive place, so the Catalan was not allowed to turn around properly in the capital. But provincial Montpellier owes him one of the acquired sights.

Antigone’s antique-technical ensemble

The most significant achievement of the Barcelona architect was the rather large area of ​​the French city of Montpellier - Antigone. The city was inferior to others both in age (some thousand years old, by European standards - a teenager), and in status. The revival of provincial life was ripe with the wave of the mass return of the French from decolonized Algeria - almost one and a half thousand men and women in their prime. The housing issue has awakened a progressive urban planning initiative. The idea of ​​Ricardo Bofil, who managed to establish himself as the author of successful economy class ensemble projects, moreover, interesting in architectural solutions, in Montpellier not only succeeded, but became a real triumph. As an architectural and construction arena, he was assigned the territory of a military training ground,

… Bofil masterfully coped with the task, having developed a general layout of the area with clear axes of the esplanade and other visual perspectives, which is why the city has retained an enviable spaciousness and transparency. In Montpellier, nothing presses and nothing sticks out with a deliberate dominant, and the variegated and varied architecture is made and subordinated to different functionality. Luxurious apartments alternate with economy-class residential buildings, cultural and educational institutions are evenly scattered throughout the territory, and modern buildings are interspersed with old and antique stylized ones. No matter how scolded postmodernity for grotesque stylization and abundant quotation of elements of the classics, but in the case of the Montpellier - Antigone area - it came in handy: the fabric of the urban development turned out to be very harmonious and devoid of sharp contrasts,

Bophil leveled the center of Montpellier both in terms of geographic relief (by taking highways and stations under the surface and prescribing altitude regulations) and in architectural and style design. In addition, according to his plan, artificial reservoirs filled with river water and numerous parks and squares were laid out in the vicinity of Antigone. As a result, Montpellier added its Mediterranean charm, and the Antigoneans began to take pride in their place of residence, which is not so common.


All four components of urban literacy — function, municipal customer, architecture, and citizen approval — came together. Antigone was designed by Bofil in 1979-1983 and continues to evolve, incorporating projects from world architectural stars such as Zaha Hadid and Kisho Kurokawa.