Illusory Silhouettes

Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill (b. 1939) launched an international urban design firm in 1963, which to date has completed over 1,000 projects in 40 countries. Given its wealth of activity, from public infrastructure to interior product design, the Barcelona-based practice has credits belonging to Dior, Rochas and Cartier as well as for Parisian social housing and Tokyo skyscrapers. In 1973 Bofill headed the design for La Muralla Roja (The Red Wall) in Calpe, Alicante, which pays homage to the Arab Mediterranean, in particular to the adobe towers of North Africa. Evoking a constructivist aesthetic, interconnected patios pay attention to colour as a misleading element. Intense hues of reds and blues contrast with the interplay of sunlight whilst blocks of labyrinthine staircases create a stimulating experience where space is subjective at each unique viewpoint. The result is an alluring geometric playground.