La Muralla Roja
A Kasbah dreamed by Bofill
One of the most emblematic Ricardo Bofill’s projects, this architectural “oasis” stands in contrast to the asphalt jungle covering the Mediterranean coast. “La Muralla Roja” in Alicante is a case apart.
It embodies a clear reference to popular Arab Mediterranean Architecture, like North African adobe towers. The Red Wall is like a fortress marking a vertical silhouette following the contour lines of rocky cliffs.
With this building, Ricardo Bofill (RBTA) wanted to break the post-Renaissance division between public and private spaces reinterpreting traditional villages.
The outside surfaces are painted in various tones of red, accentuating contrast with the landscape. Patios and stairs are treated with blue tones, such as sky-blue, indigo, violet, to produce a stronger contrast with the sky or, on the contrary, an optical effect of blending in with it. The intensity of the colours is also related to the light and shows how the combination of these elements can help create a greater illusion of space.
The labyrinth of this recreated Kasbah corresponds to a precise geometric plan based on the typology of the Greek cross with arms 5 meters long. They all group differently, with service towers at their point of intersection.
The geometric basis of the layout is an approximation to Constructivism theories. The forms of the building create an ensemble of interconnected patios providing access to 50 apartments. On the roof, terraces are swimming pool, solariums and sauna.
The criterion of applying an intense colours palette gives a determined relief to distinct architectural elements, according to their functions.
The project was exhibited at Museo de la Universidad de Alicante. A good way to pay homage to Ricardo Bofill’s dream of breaking the monotony of tourist architecture in Costa Blanca evoking 1.001 Nights Tales with Minimalist aesthetics.