As a child, I was always attracted to the Walden 7, a huge, mastodonic apartment building just outside Barcelona designed by Ricardo Bofill. Over the years I have visited many of the Spanish architect’s other projects, but I had not seen this one, La Muralla Roja, until recently, when a shoot for the handbag company, M2Malletier brought me to the town of Calpe in Alicante.
La Muralla Roja was completed in 1973 and, like the Walden 7, it is a housing complex, though one that makes a clearer reference to southern Mediterranean architecture. In particular, I imagine it as a Postmodern interpretation of a casbah, with its labyrinth-like circulation, overlapping stairs, impossible balconies, and endless series of patios. Its vivid colors were selected to complement and contrast the nature that once surrounded it. (Sadly, the neighboring areas have since been built up.) But its most striking feature may well be its rooftop terrace, which features a beautiful pool in the shape of a cross and doubles as the building’s communal plaza. via vogue