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HomeModern House PlanPedro Garcia Hernandez remembers Ricardo Bofill

Pedro Garcia Hernandez remembers Ricardo Bofill


Freedom is incompatible with love. A lover is at all times a slave.

– Germaine de Staël (1766-1817) French author and mental.

These are my rules, and for those who don’t like them… effectively, I’ve others.

– Groucho Marx (1890-1977) American comic, actor, and author.

Ricardo Bofill at all times moved freely, a freedom exercised from a younger age and that accompanied him all through his life. Freedom is difficult and tough to handle, because it implies that nothing nor anybody decides for you. Solely you’re liable for your actions, your selections and, every single day, on each new undertaking, each resolution is made alone. Accountability isn’t shared and subsequently, one is condemned to loneliness.

Bofill completely embodied this freedom assumed as loneliness. His reluctance to share selections with anybody made him an austere particular person, centered on work and reserved. His life was stuffed with paradoxes and contradictions, of self-centeredness and loneliness, of successes and failures, of ups and downs and all of that might solely be understood from a single concept: Freedom.

Freedom to be taught

Bofill had 4 essential pillars in his coaching as an architect: the household, the College of Barcelona, ​​the College of Geneva, and being self-taught. Emilo Bofill and María Levi, his dad and mom, had been centered on Bofill after his older brother, José, handed away, and pushed him to proceed the household enterprise and turn out to be an architect like his father. The College of Barcelona gave him the primary years of studying and made it simpler for him to satisfy different architects, who, years later had been colleagues, associates, and enemies. Ricardo’s expulsion from the College for his communist hyperlinks and attitudes brought about his departure to Switzerland, the place he completed his research.

Bofill was additionally an autodidactic who always redrew and traced works by different nice architects to be taught, observe and perceive their structure. To look at is discovering the variations that we now have between comparable realities, to grasp is looking for the coincidences we discover between completely different realities.

Someday Bofill advised me that the plan of a constructing reveals the boundaries of structure, however the part reveals the standard of the areas.

Les quatre barres de la senyera catalana by Ricardo Bofill in Barcelona, Catalonia (Coldcreation/By way of Wikmedia Commons, accessed beneath CC BY-SA 3.0 ES)

Freedom to work

The Taller de Arquitectura was shaped round 1962-63 however was consolidated in 1964 on account of starting the design the Barri Gaudí in Reus. The start of the Taller was centered within the first years round two folks: Ricardo Bofill and his first cousin Xavier Bague, however Ramón Collado, Ricardo’s foster brother and son of the Bofill household’s maid, instantly joined the workforce. Over time, Collado additionally studied structure and at last took an lively half within the tasks and particularly within the building administration that they carried out throughout the next years. Shortly after, Manolo Núñez Yanowsky (1942-) joined, a fantastic sketcher with a background in theater able to imitating the model of any painter. He was launched to Bofill and Bague by Catalan theater designer and director Fabià Puigserver. The membership of Bofill and Bague within the clandestine communist celebration PSUC facilitated sure contacts with some Russian exiles, amongst whom was Núñez Yanowsky. The Taller started to develop little by little, incorporating some thinkers equivalent to Salvador Clotas and José Agustín Goytisolo (1928-1999), a person of nice tradition who collaborated along with his concepts and arguments.

It’s throughout this era that Bofill met Serena Vergano and Peter Hodgkinson, each of whom have been a part of the Taller to this present day. Hodgkinson got here to Spain from the UK the place he studied structure on the Architectural Affiliation and the place he met some members of Archigram and Group 10. His stable tutorial coaching helped his growth and progress throughout the construction of the Taller performing an important function within the growth of the manager tasks and within the realization of particulars, fashions and including a dose of realism that facilitated the development of the proposed concepts.

The Taller has at all times been structured round Bofill, with two inventive pillars that shaped: Núñez Yanowsky and Hodgkinson. Núñez Yanowsky was the inventive, theatrical visionary and Hodgkinson redirected his histrionic concepts by imposing order, structuring them and caring for the development. Bague and Collado had been secondary but additionally crucial.

The Taller supposed to be a multidisciplinary observe round structure, headed by Bofill. It was a group impressed by “The Manufacturing unit,” which included writers, critics, mathematicians, architects, and every kind of people that may contribute concepts to the work that was being performed. However most of those collaborators ended up leaving the Taller, combating with Bofill for his rising function and for making selections unilaterally. The incorporation of Jean Pierre Carniaux (who joined in 1976 and opened the New York workplace in 1986) and the loyalty of Hodgkinson ended up with them being the definitive companions of the Taller, which ceased to be multidisciplinary and have become the Ricardo Bofill agency.

Les Espaces d’Abraxas, accomplished in 1982, sits within the Noisy-le-Grand suburb of Paris. The uniquely dystopian look has led to the constructing being featured prominently in movies equivalent to The Starvation Video games and Brazil.

Freedom to create

The Taller was based with the clear concept of ​​placing an finish to Le Corbusier’s linear block and creating a whole neighborhood that may facilitate the connection between neighbors and the town. He started to hold out modular and aggregative methods analysis that lasted about 12 years, which may be probably the most attention-grabbing interval of his profession. The tasks that got here out of this analysis—Kafka’s Fortress, Crimson Wall, Walden 7—definitely gave him worldwide fame.

When he started to construct in France, he deserted aggregative methods to turn out to be extra fascinated with prefabrication and postmodern structure, which led him to turn out to be a world architect, constructing a skyscraper in Chicago. The previous few years had been centered on massive interventions in neighborhoods and cities with an eclectic model and a few influences from the previous.

Bofill’s profession has been irregular, with sudden and sometimes inexplicable stylistic twists. He was at all times bold and desperate to develop and it is rather attainable that these modifications had been brought on by the affect of style, modifications within the scale of the tasks, the out there know-how or the affect of his collaborators. He by no means justified his modifications in model, he by no means needed to be linked to any college, he by no means needed to have followers or create any kind of faculty; he at all times moved with absolute freedom with out having to clarify his selections to anybody.

La Muralla Roja, designed by ricardo bofill, a bright red collection of towers
La Muralla Roja, accomplished in 1973, is each a full house advanced and vacationer attraction on the Spanish coast. The Brutalist building strategy is seemingly at odds with the ample colour. (Joanbanjo/Wikimedia Commons, accessed beneath CC BY-SA 4.0)

Private freedom

On a private degree, he was in keeping with that spirit of freedom. He was untrue to anybody, as an example the fixed altering of companions, the main target within the Taller in addition to in his personal life. He had two kids with two completely different ladies to finish up with a 3rd one along with the innumerable lovers he had, that solely provides us an concept of ​​the sexual freedom he maintained all through his life. His political beliefs had additionally modified all through his life, from being a communist to constructing a skyscraper in Chicago’s Loop and different completely costly buildings for personal firms.

He was Jewish by beginning, but additionally in love with the nations of the Maghreb, and this reveals his complete freedom of perception and little religiosity.

An architect centered on his work, who didn’t hesitate to be the middle of gossip magazines when his son married the daughter of Julio Iglesias, throwing a spectacular banquet in his studio. Ricardo Bofill, a contradictory, good, untrue, selfish, and controversial architect, however who at all times has been and at all times shall be a free spirit.



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