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Impressive Architecture: La Muralla Roja by Ricardo Bofill

The building has a clear inspiration on the popular architecture of the Arab Mediterranean Area. The stunning shades of pink and red, the stairs and circulation spaces are jewel-like blues and indigoes, selected to either contrast with nature or complement its purity.
La Muralla Roja, Spanish for ‘The Red Wall,’ is a housing project completed in 1968 and designed by the top architect, Ricardo Bofill.

Formed like a fortress, the project appears as if it is emerging from the rocky cliffs it sits on. Its organization challenges the increasing division between public and private space through its reinterpretation of the casbah, which is the walled citadel typical of traditional architecture in North African countries.

Characterized by a series of interlocking stairs, platforms, and bridges, this organization is a modern illustration of the circulation in a typical casbah, providing access to the 50 apartments that form La Muralla Roja.

Various tones of red paint cover the exterior facade, accentuating the contrast with the landscape. Stairs and circulation surfaces, on the other hand, are treated with different tones of blue ranging from sky-blue to indigo and event violet, depending on weather the intention is to contrast with the sky or create visually continuity with it.

The Red Wall is best described as a labyrinth, corresponding to a precise geometric plan based on the typology of the Greek cross, having, in this case, arms that are five meters long. The crosses intersect at the service towers, which contain the kitchens and bathrooms. In the words of Taller de Arquitectura , “the geometric basis of the layout is also an approximation of the theories of constructivism, and makes La Muralla Roja a very clear evocation of these.”

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