The renowned Catalan architect Ricardo Bofill has died this Friday in Barcelona at the age of 82, as confirmed by sources from his RBTA office.
Trained at the Barcelona School and the Geneva School, Bofill was an internationally renowned architect with a long career in the fields of architecture, design and urban planning.
In the work of the Catalan, history has been a manifest constant, not only in the continuous analysis and interpretation of the culture and architecture of the past, but also because of his interest in new trends.
His urban design creations include the Place de l’Europe in Luxembourg, the Nueva Castellana in Madrid, the Antigone neighborhood in Montpellier (France), the Nueva Bocana in the port of Barcelona or the remodeling and expansion of the Catalan capital’s airport, where he also projected the Teatre Nacional de Catalunya (TNC) and the Hotel Vela.
The TNC has dismissed Bofill through its Twitter account, remembering him as “one of the most international Catalan architects”.
In his early years, Bofill recovered handcrafted elements characteristic of traditional Catalan architecture, and later addressed urban planning problems at the local level within the Spanish political and social context. To these beginnings belong, among others, the Red Wall in Calpe (Alicante) or the Meritxell sanctuary, in Andorra.
Interested in urban problems in developing countries, Bofill transferred part of his team to Algeria, where he collaborated with the Government on urban planning and social housing projects.
Internationally recognized innovation
Bofill’s studies on the use of precast concrete units contributed in the 1980s to the affirmation of the validity of classical forms and geometry in contemporary architecture, and in the 1990s the introduction of glass and aluminum was the result of a process of study of forms and materials.
Such was his recognition that the Museum of Modern Art in New York dedicated an exhibition to his work in 1985 and later his activity diversified into a large number of projects in Catalonia, but also in the rest of Spain and abroad.
Lots of awards and distinctions
Throughout his career, Bofill has received many awards and distinctions, including the FAD Design Award, the ASID Award from the American Society of Interior Design, the Ciutat de Barcelona Award, the title of Architect of the Ordre des Architectes de Belgique, French Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and Creu de Sant Jordi, among many others.
He received one of his last awards in September, when he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), and in whose speech he claimed that “the only possible utopia today is knowledge”