‘It is enough to say that Ricardo Bofill is one of Europe’s most famous and prolific architects of the last century. To add any more is to inevitably leave out too much.’ With these words we begin the journey of our new issue mono.kultur #36 into the mind and work of Spanish architect and enfant terrible Ricardo Bofill.
And indeed, where to begin with an architect as over the top as Ricardo Bofill, notorious since the 1970s for his vast city-like housing estates that look like surreal experiments in crossbreeding desert caves with Star Wars; an architect who has designed over 1000 projects in the space of five decades, from perfume bottles to city plans, and pretty much everything in between; who has worked in a style – or a hundred styles – that is as unique as it is impossible to describe; who founded a leftist collective that would eventually end up building airport terminals; whose life reads somewhat like a fairytale itself, taking us from fascist Spain under Franco’s rule to the celebrity frenzy of our modern times, with the Bofill clan holding a somewhat unique position among Spanish tabloids? To add any more is to inevitably leave out too much.
In short, Ricardo Bofill is a gloriously fascinating character with a penchant for the extra-large, in life as well as in work, and we are terribly pleased to dedicate mono.kultur #36 to the Spanish master.
With mono.kultur, Ricardo Bofill talked about fifty years of architecture, the vagaries of ambition and how Modernism killed the city.
Visually, the issue offers a disorienting journey of architectural splendour with plenty of previously unpublished images from the archives of Ricardo Bofill (as well as the odd film still of naked bodies). Using partial high gloss varnish throughout, it is a pleasing juxtaposition of the natural and the artificial, the intellectual and the sexual, the disciplined and the decadent.
Introduction & Interview by Carson Chan / Images courtesy of Taller de Arquitectura / Design by Vela Arbutina & John McCusker
48 pgs, 20 × 15 cm, Softcover, 2014, 9783981554977