The Muralla Roja by Ricardo BofillWednesday 11 October 2017
A reference to the popular architecture of the Arab Mediterranean Area, the Muralla Roja complex is built like a fortress. Designed by the Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill, its fascinating colored geometric facades overlook Calp, a small seaside town in Spain's Alicante region. Let's take a look at this large-scale architectural project.
A coastal infrastructure
La Muralla Roja ("the red wall" in Spanish) was completed in 1973. The construction, which contains 50 appartments, a bar, several restaurants and sports facilities, is part of the "La Manzanera" project, a large tourism complex commissioned by the town of Calp in the 60s. The objective was to house up to 3000 people during high season. The architect's objective was, therefore, very specific: "We wanted to create an enclosed Garden of Eden, paradisiac in a way, something that expressed an idyllic and bucolic vision of the world."
One of a kind, the Muralla Roja reworks the architectural codes of the kasbah, a traditional Berber fortress from North Africa. Its vertical towers, interconnected courtyards and maze-like stairs are the perfect illustration of this influence.
The geometric structure is host to a series of appartments, measuring from 60-120m², as well as rooftop terraces, solaria, a swimming pool and a sauna exclusively reserved for residents.
The intriguing Muralla Roja is no stranger to Instagram due to its shimmering and captivating colors, from brick red to sky blue. The nuances of the color palette have been thoughtfully chosen. The facades, for example, are painted in different shades of red in order to emphasize the contrast with the surrounding landscape. The exterior spaces such as the courtyards and stairs, however, are given lighter tones: baby blue, indigo, purple and candy pink. The idea here is to create different intensities of contrast with the sky, playing with light in order to make the space look bigger.
Ricardo Bofill, a post-modern architect
Born in 1939, Ricardo Bofill studied at the University of Architecture in Barcelona, then at the École de Genève in the fifties. He set up his first atelier, the "Taller de Arquitectura", in 1963. The Spanish architect then brought in a multi-disciplinary team, adopting a free and decadent approach to architecture. Playing with the rules, Ricardo Bofill was inspired by his travels, soaking up the culture with every creation. The result: liberated and excessive architecture like the W Hotel in Barcelona, or the San Isidro Tower in Lima.