artist andrés gallardo calls the iconic ‘la muralla roja’ in spain a ‘paradise for photographers’. completed by ricardo bofill in 1973, the apartment complex — with its fortress-like façade and vertical silhouette that mimics the contours of the surrounding cliffs — is one of the finest examples of arab-mediterranean architecture. gallardo visited the site to document its striking color palette, strong geometric sensibility, and some of the native plants that call it home. ‘the best thing about ‘muralla roja’ is that a photographer could visit it several times and keep taking totally different photos,’ gallardo says.
gallardo’s images capture the building’s bold color palette, from which it takes its name — ‘the red wall’. dynamic tones emphasize a contrast with the landscape, while areas treated with blue — like indigo and violet — produce an optical effect of blending in with the sky and sea. ‘the photo series tries to portray the contrast given by the low season, and the ‘live’ perception brought forth by the plants inhabiting it.’
in the design of ‘la muralla roja’, ricardo bofill sought to reinterpret the tradition of the kasbah — a high-walled, typically windowless fortress. the labyrinthine forms of the building evoke a striking constructivist aesthetic, with their ensemble of interconnected patios. each of these outdoor spaces provides access to the building’s 50 apartments, which include studios, as well as two and three-bedroom homes. the complex also includes a swimming pool and a sauna for residents on the roof terraces. these unique structural facets are captured through gallardo’s lens, bringing a new sense of discovery to an architectural emblem.