The intense life of Ricardo Bofill, the first ‘star’ architect in Spain

The renowned Catalan architect Ricardo Bofill He died this Friday, January 14, in Barcelona at the age of 82 due to complications from Covid-19, as reported by his family.

Bofill was an internationally renowned architect with a long career in the field of architecture, design and urban planning. He was born in Barcelona in 1939 and initially studied at the Barcelona Higher Technical School of Architecture and completed his training in Switzerland.

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His work

His urban design works include the Place de l’Europe in Luxembourg, the Nueva Castellana in Madrid, the Municipal Palace of IFEMA or the Manzanares Park. Also in France, the Antigone neighborhood in Motpellier, the Nueva Bocana of the port of Barcelona or the remodeling and expansion of the airport of the Catalan capital, where he also designed the Teatre Nacional de Catalunya and the Hotel Vela.

As if that were not enough, Bofill is owed buildings as emblematic as the mythical Walden 7 in Barcelona, ​​whose irregular façade leaves no one indifferent; or the Red Wall of Calpe, a conglomerate of buildings that years after its construction is compared with the futuristic aesthetic of the hit Netflix series the squid game.

Annabelle and Serena, the two women in his life

But beyond his successful career between plans, squares and brackets, Ricardo Bofill also made a name for himself in the social chronicle thanks to his important agenda of contacts belonging to all spheres. “Two years ago when he celebrated his eightieth birthday, Ricardo gathered all his friends in his house around a long, very long table, exquisitely decorated to share a fantastic dinner”, recalls the photographer Antoni Bernad in Vanity Fair, who shared great evenings with him at the mythical Bocaccio, still shocked by the death of the first architect of the Spanish star system, before Calatrava arrived.

The Catalan architect born into a bourgeois family, had four relationships throughout his life. His first wife was the actress Serena Vergano, with whom he had his first son, Ricardo Emilio, in 1965. Years later, the relationship would end up breaking up and the architect would meet the artist Annabelle d’Huart. In 1980, Bofill senior had his second son, Pablo.

Ricardo Bofill in the press of the heart

Ricardo Emilio was his first son and also one of the most controversial personalities of the 90s in Spain. He married in 1993 the eldest daughter of Julio Iglesias, Chábeli, at the Ricardo Bofill Architecture Workshop. The wedding was a celebration in style that was carried out by Julio Iglesias, despite the fact that the singer had warned his daughter that his marriage would be a failure. The event of the year was attended by characters such as Pitita Ridruejo, Terenci Moix, Carmen Martínez-Bordiú, Pere Portabella or the stepfathers of Chábeli Iglesias, the Marquis of Griñón and Miguel Boyer.

Just three years after his wedding with Chábeli, the couple separated and in 1995 the architect’s son returned to generate all kinds of headlines for his new love: Paulina Rubio. The singer and Bofill celebrated an African wedding in 1999 without any legal validity and were very close until 2004.

Pablo, born in his relationship with the artist Annabelle d’Huart, has been more discreet in his love life. He married a Colombian designer in 2014 and not much more has been known about his life. He is an economist and has been in charge, since he graduated, of managing his father’s architecture studio. Today, he is 42 years old.

However, the show business eventually tired him and Bofill withdrew from public opinion. “I decided I didn’t want to be famous anymore, celebrity and competition ceased to interest me: what interested me was architecture itself and I adopted a low profile. For that reason, I have given very few interviews. I am not interested in having a big fame because it is dangerous: it builds you a personality that is not suitable for the job, it transforms you into a proud and contemptuous individual”, said the architect in a conversation with ABC.

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