Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Ricardo Bofill, Architecture as Science Fiction

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Maria Gill
Maria Gill
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disappearance – The star architect of the 1980s, often misunderstood as a pioneer of postmodernism, this Catalan left an enormous disparate work, much crazier in his personal projects than in his public commissions.

Place de la Catalunya in Paris, that’s it, with its stark architecture, flawless city flavour painted like a sci-fi comic, and dull concrete that bets on purity that better suits the sun. Ricardo Bofill, a former student of the Lycée Francais in Barcelona and hence of complete mastery of the language, has left his mark behind the Montparnasse Tower, with this ambitious, disturbing, somewhat outdated complex, equipped with a wide, sloping central fountain. A plane like a moon landing, was poorly received by the residents and saw the whole thing as too cruel.

In the 1980s, the mayor of Paris, Jacques Chirac, who wanted to pay homage to Catalonia, commissioned Ricardo Bofill to develop this spacious square, a place that has remained somewhat apart ever since. The charismatic Catalan architect imagined 574 dwellings there, including 400 for social purposes in a strict and unified group, sometimes seen as inhumane, even a prison.

What he wanted was to make the city dramatic. Its vocabulary…

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