Profile: Spanish Architect & Designer Ricardo Bofill – ‘Dreamer Of Modernity’

December 2, 2020

What Bofill creates with exceptional mastery are spaces or the sense of space. He describes this ability, probably jokingly, as being an escape from the claustrophobia of his childhood in Barcelona, living in bourgeois apartments crammed floor to ceiling with decorative objects.

Postmodernity in the work of Bofill does not have to be the abolishing of rules or the death of history. In his own words, postmodernity “breaks with cultural hegemony to adapt models to different cultures, considering the place and its history.” It is more of a reaction against the uniformity of modern architecture.

Ricardo Bofill was born on December 5, 1939, in Barcelona. The son of a contractor, in the dullest hours of the Franco regime. As he explains himself, the feeling of being, not in the middle of the world but the outskirts, in a periphery—a Catalonia that was not just physically isolated from the cultural capitals but also far from national, political decision-making—sparked dreams of freedom and faraway lands, and was probably what later inspired his nomadic lifestyle. The importance of the vernacular, it’s engagement with classicism, Bofill’s sense of atemporal elegance—all find their roots in this early period.

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