The renowned Catalan architect Ricardo Bofill has died at the age of 82, in Barcelona on Friday, January 14, as officially announced by his own firm through a statement. He was an architect of international projection and long career in the field of architecture, design and urban planning.
Born in 1939 in Barcelona, Bofill leaves behind a wide and varied architectural production, as well as many ongoing projects. From its innovative collective housing complexes of his early years, such as the well-known Walden 7 and the Red Wall, to infrastructures such as the Barcelona Airport, the corporate headquarters of Shiseido Ginza in Tokyo and that of Cartier in Paris, and current projects such as the Mohammed VI University with offices in Ben Guerir and Rabat, Ricardo Bofill has stood out for questioning the dominant thought in architecture. And from that philosophy an enormous production has come out – around a thousand architectural works in forty countries – very varied in its stylistic expression, deeply rooted to the site, with a strong component of innovation and risk.
Ricardo Bofill founded the Taller de Arquitectura in 1963 with a multidisciplinary team formed not only by architects, but also by other professionals and artists such as the literary critic Salvador Clotas, the poet José Agustín Goytisolo or the economist Julia Romea. This transversal spirit still survives today, with his two sons, Ricardo Emilio and Pablo, in charge of the office for the past few years, leading a plural team of more than one hundred professionals from thirty different nationalities who are currently developing numerous projects. This amazing team of people, along with the whole production of his architecture, is the true legacy left by Ricardo Bofill, in the words of the architect’s sons.
Walden 7 Buildding, Barcelona © Gregori Civera.
His urban design works include the Place de l’Europe in Luxembourg, the New Castilian of Madrid, the Antigone neighborhood in Motpellier (France), the Nueva Bocana of the port of Barcelona or the remodeling and expansion of the airport in the Catalan capital, where he also designed the Teatre Nacional de Catalunya and the Hotel Vela.
Throughout his career, Bofill has received numerous awards and recognitions, among them the Cross of San Jordi granted by the Government of Catalonia, in 1973. In 1985 he was elected honorary member of the American Institute of Architects.
Bofill was Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Metz, France (1995), and Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, from the French Ministry of Culture (1988).
On January 26 and 27 an event will be held in Barcelona which friends, relatives and admirers of his architecture will have the possibility of visiting the emblematic headquarters of the studio to pay tribute to the architect.
Université Mohammed VI Polytechnique, Morocco. © Gregori Civera
Cover photo: courtesy of © RBTA