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The Catalan, who has signed numerous projects all over the world, died of Covid-19 on Friday, at the age of 82. He leaves behind him a major work but decried in France.
Criticized for his monumental achievements, mocked for his predilection for a neoclassical style which has often aged badly – see the Antigone district in Montpellier, the place de la Catalunya in Paris or the Espaces d’Abraxas in Noisy-le-Grand, in Seine- Saint-Denis –, Ricardo Bofill, who died Friday at the age of 82 from the consequences of the Covid, will he have been right too soon? “He is an important architect in his century but the work he did in France is often misunderstood”, believes Philippe Chiambaretta, who worked ten years for the firm Ricardo Bofill Taller de Arquitectura before setting up his own agency in Paris. “He was one of the first to speak out against the domination of modern town planning, which consisted of building bars and towers without worrying about streets, squares and public space.” To these large vertical groups that grow thickly in the middle of the fields, Ricardo Bofill “tried to give a different shape, relief, curves, by adding balconies, passageways, but it’s still a big set”, nuance the architect. Above all, this Catalan marked on the left, expelled at 19 from the Barcelona School of Architecture for his anti-Franco commitment, suffered from the rejection of the neoclassical style in France, associated with Nazi Germany and the architect Albert Speer. A shame for this man whose mother, born Lévi, is a Venetian Jewess.
Les Espaces d’Abraxas, a sinister HLM fortress now dormant, “don’t know…
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