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Dear Friends,

‘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Visually, the issue offers a disorienting journey of architectural splendour with plenty of previously unpublished images from the archives of Ricardo Bofill (as well as the odd film still of naked bodies).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.

As usual, the issue is available through our online store mono.konsum, and at the trusted book dealer of your choice very soon indeed. Makes for splendid reading in an urban environment, with the sun on your face.

Enjoy and all our best,


mono.kultur #36
“I’m interested in my own history of errors.”

Spring 2014 / English / 15 x 20 cm / 48 Pages
Introduction & Interview by Carson Chan
Images by Taller de Arquitectura
Design by Vela Arbutina & John McCusker

7 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. here & now › BOFILLTOPIAS #01: LA FÁBRICA on Tuesday, June 17, 2014 at 11:32

    [...] Spanish master architect Ricardo Bofill as the subject for our new issue mono.kultur #36, we’re going to focus on a few highlights of his singularly prolific and versatile career [...]

  2. here & now › BOFILLTOPIAS #02: WALDEN-7 on Thursday, July 3, 2014 at 10:50

    [...] any look back at singular Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill – cover star of our very current issue – one building to be mentioned sooner rather than later will inevitably be his housing complex in [...]

  3. here & now › BOFILLTOPIAS #03: LA MURALLA ROJA on Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at 14:24

    [...] Muralla Roja – The Red Wall – is an apartment building by Ricardo Bofill constructed in 1973 on the Mediterranean coast near Alicante in Spain, and in vicinity of La [...]

  4. here & now › BOFILLTOPIAS #04: LES ESPACES D’ABRAXAS on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 12:38

    [...] the cover of our new issue on Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill is a view of his monumental housing project Les Espaces d’Abraxas, built in 1982 near Paris. [...]

  5. here & now › BOFILLTOPIAS #05: LES ARCADES DU LAC on Friday, August 15, 2014 at 15:28

    [...] the grandiose Les Arcades du Lac. Built in 1982 and the first project of many to be realised by Ricardo Bofill in France, Les Arcades du Lac was part of the ‘nouvelles villes’ scheme, where entire [...]

  6. here & now › BOFILLTOPIAS POSTSCRIPT on Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 16:12

    [...] the most inadvertently accurate footnote on Ricardo Bofill’s architecture from the 1980s comes from Cyprien Gaillard, our interviewee of issue #24 who [...]

  7. [...] our current issue mono.kultur #36, we had the unique opportunity to have access to Bofill’s archives, with literally hundreds [...]