The Abraxas spaces, in Noisy-le-Grand (Seine-Saint-Denis), in 2016. PHOTO / REMI DECOSTER / HANS LUCAS VIA AFP

The Catalan, at the origin of projects in fifty countries, had worked a lot in France, which owes him in particular the Antigone district, in Montpellier, and the spaces of Abraxas, in Noisy-le-Grand.

Ricardo Bofill, “the most cosmopolitan of Spanish architects”, according to The country, Where “the most international Barcelona architect”, according to the Catalan daily The vanguard, died on Friday January 14 in Barcelona at the age of 82.

He had in fact “carried out projects in some fifty countries around the world, from France to the United States and from Algeria to China”, abstract The country, who adds that he was “based in Paris and had graduated as an architect in Geneva”.


Ricardo Bofill was particularly famous in France, where he notably distinguished himself by the design of the Arcades du lac housing complex, in Montigny-le-Bretonneux, near Versailles, and that of the Espaces d’Abraxas, in Noisy -le-Grand, or the Antigone district, in Montpellier.

His achievements, summarizes the Spanish newspaper, “combined technology and historicism, a French garden, social housing and a ‘Bofillian’ obsession with affirming living together”. Their “monumentality” had earned them many appearances in the cinema: the spaces of Abraxas had notably served as a filming location for scenes of the anticipation film Brazil, by Terry Gilliam, in 1985, and more recently the Hollywood trilogy Hunger Games.

The spaces of Abraxas, in Noisy-le-Grand (Seine-Saint-Denis), in 2016. PHOTO / REMI DECOSTER / HANS LUCAS VIA AFP

In the cosmopolitan trajectory of this architect marked on the left, The vanguard points to a key date: “1957, in the midst of Franco’s regime, when he was expelled from the Higher Technical School of Architecture in Barcelona because of his political activities, which forced him to leave the country and continue his studies in Switzerland.”


Later, highlighted El Periódico de Catalunya, “Carlos Arias Navarro, the last president of the government of the Franco dictatorship, had forbidden him to return to work in Spain”.

In an obituary published by The country, the novelist Rosa Regàs, a member like him of the Divine Left, this group of left-wing Catalan intellectuals and artists of the 1960s and 1970s, bids farewell to this “born provocateur” : “It’s true that he sent back an image of frivolity and seduction. He was also like that. If he was accused of being a petty bourgeois, he overdid it. If he was told that his architecture was extravagant, he exaggerated even more in his next project.”

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