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La Murulla Roja, Calp, Spain

Location: Calp, Spain
Year built: 1973
Architect: Richardo Bofill

La Muralla Roja is a remarkable complex consisting of 50 apartments, each offering a unique size choice, including 60, 80, and 120 square meters. Nestled along the captivating Spanish coast of Calp, this architectural wonder gazes out over the Mediterranean Sea. Designed by renowned Spanish architect Richard Bofill, La Muralla Roja showcases a blend of post-modern and brutalist architectural styles, making it a true masterpiece. Its construction was completed in 1973. 

This unique complex boasts an array of private amenities, such as a private swimming pool, rooftop terrace, and a sauna, specifically designed to infuse natural light into the courtyard spaces. These features serve not only as luxurious additions but also as strategic architectural elements that enhance the quality of living for residents. 

The most striking characteristic of La Muralla Roja is its deliberate contrast with the surrounding landscape. Its exterior façade is adorned with a palette of red and pink tones, which pays homage to the earthy colors of the local terrain. Contrasting these shades are an array of blue tones, reminiscent of the sky and water, creating an artistic harmony that reflects Bofill’s deep-rooted commitment to environmental considerations in his architectural work and signature usage of bold colors throughout his designs.  

The complex is divided into five different sections or wings, converging at the central service tower. This structural layout is inspired by casbahs but with an avant-garde twist. The geometrical forms interconnect vertically, creating a fortress-like appearance that shields internal courtyards. This design’s simplicity is derived from the typology of a Greek Cross. Staircases appear to lead to nowhere, offering an optical illusion as their dimensions subtly change with each step. 

Photographer Sebastian Weiss aptly describes it, “This surreal place is a feast for the senses and fascinates with its perfect tuning of colors, geometrical shapes, public and private areas, as well as light and shadow plays.”  

Furthermore, according to Taller de Arquitectura, the geometric layout of this complex is a clear nod to the theories of constructivism, providing a profound connection to this architectural philosophy. La Muralla Roja serves as a living testament to the power of design to challenge conventions, evoke wonder, and harmonize with its surroundings. 

“At first glance, I couldn’t help but draw parallels to the bold, vibrant aesthetics of the TV series Squid Game. The way these striking colors complement each other is truly captivating. The building itself exudes the aura of a challenging puzzle, where every angle reveals a fresh and intriguing perspective, making it a delight to look at but also photograph.”  – Jessica Wei 

Learn more about Postmodern Architecture here.

Image courtesy of Unsplash