EM | Ricardo Bofill

  Nine-story postmodern residential semicircle and green courtyard Copyright: © RBTA  

"Architecture is a timeless art that responds to the permanent need of man to build space."
(Ricardo Bofill, Buildings and Projects 1960-1985, New York 1988)

In this block seminar we will explore the equally peculiar and fascinating oeuvre of recently deceased Catalan architect Ricardo Bofill and his "Taller de Arquitectura", focusing on his works created in the 1960s to the 1980s.

In the first part of the seminar, we will focus on his early work in Barcelona of the 1960s, where he created buildings of surprising timelessness, including brick-faced apartment buildings such as those in the Carrers de Bach and de Nicaragua. We will then look at the large, fractal-like housing complexes of the 1970s such as the Edificio Xanadú, La Muralla Roja and Walden 7, which still bear witness today to how Bofill recurrently sought to combine the urban with traditional motifs of vernacular architecture and how he thereby found an absolutely independent architectural language that gave expression to his social utopian ideas. In the third part of the seminar, we will explore his neo-Mannerist ensembles in France in the 1980s, his famous spatial structures, sometimes used as film sets, such as the Espaces d'Abraxas, which quote millennia-old traditional architectural elements and principles, but then quite often invert them, sometimes even dissolve them.

We will therefore examine his oeuvre if one wants to attempt a categorization at all which is most likely to be located between critical regionalism and postmodernism during the decades mentioned, on the basis of his clearly identifiable creative phases in chronological order, although it will be above all the (visible and invisible) thresholds and transitions, indeed the mediators between them, that we would like to identify and learn to understand.



Elective Module | Block seminar
M.Sc. | all semesters


October 17, 2022 | Kick-Off
January 25 to 27, 2023 | Block seminar with presentations
February 27, 2023 | Submissions


Dipl.-Ing. Architektin Verena Hake