Ricardo Bofill passed away on January 14, 2022. The Catalan architect, capable of looking at and interpreting architecture and the city with a strong critical sense, shaping the forms and the construction methods of the past in a new cultural and social interpretation. Bofill was born in 1939 in Barcelona and began his education at the Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura, from which he was expelled during the social unrest that affected the Catalan capital.
He completed his studies at the École des Beaux-Arts in Geneva. He inherited from his father – a builder – the passion for architecture and the studio that over the years became a laboratory of experimentation of great international and multidisciplinary scope.
In the Taller de Arquitectura (RBTA) worked artists, writers and scholars who together experimented new approaches to architecture: new formal outcomes and compositional expressions marked the architecture of the twentieth century. The residential complexes La Muralla Roja and Walden 7 are among the main works realized in Spain between 1972 and 1975. They clearly represent and identify Bofill’s architectural position.
Particularly significant is the project La Fábrica, headquarters of the RBTA office and private residence of the architect himself. A former industrial building in a state of abandonment that has been transformed into a space that accommodates and overturns the canonical environments of the home and the workplace: a general rethinking of the relationship between form and function and the definition of a powerful space capable of absorbing new uses and above all continuing to transform itself. As Bofill himself said, “Classicism is incompleteness, absence of satisfaction. Nothing is completely finished, even when one might apparently believe otherwise”.
Numerous other national and international projects have been realized by RBTA such as Terminals 1 and 2 of Barcelona Airport, Les Espaces d’Abraxas in 1982, offices for Shiseido in 2001 in the Ginza district of Tokyo, and the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University in Morocco in 2016. A few months ago, Crescent and Piazza della Libertà opened and re-designed Salerno’s waterfront. This last project, like many others, marked a strong critical debate both within the architectural culture and among the local community.