Ricardo Bofill was born in Barcelona as the son of a Catalan father and a Venetian mother. He studied at the Esquela Técnica Superior in Barcelona and at the School of Architecture in Geneva, Switzerland. In 1963 he founded a group formed by architects, engineers, sociologists and philosophers, creating the basis for what today is the ‘Taller de Arquitectura’ (Architectural Workshop). Ricardo Bofill is often quoted as one of the most famous and most successful representatives of the so-called post-modernism, although he does not call himself like that.
Taller de Arquitectura’, with headquarters in Barcelona, accomplishes a collective and elaborate system for project design, establishing a technical collaboration in all countries where it undertakes projects. It is a practice composed of a structure which endeavours for the highest quality, capable of conceiving and carrying out projects anywhere in the world. With this aim the 'Taller' uses all of its means available: modern techniques, human resources, the professional expertise of each individual and the efficient organization of its structure.
This multidisciplinary international team takes on projects of city planning, transport, leisure, housing and offices. In their conception these projects include the design components: furniture, sculpture and interior design. This is how the collaboration with Durlet originated: for the realization of all custom designed sitting furniture for the SWIFT headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.
Other famous realizations include city design, as applied in the European cities of Bordeaux, Luxembourg, Rome, Prague, Warsaw, Kobe and Madrid, as well as in Boston, U.S.A. In China stands out the project for Qingdao Olympic Games village, a proposal for a new district in Beijing, Landmark Buildings, an high-rise building complex, the Shangri-la Hotel, Sunshine Upper East and The Reflection residential complex, all under construction. The 'Antigone' neighbourhood in Montpellier is a tangible example of a project on a grand scale, a part of the city which has been designed and constructed by this team during twenty years.
In the field of great infrastructures Barcelona Airport extension of 1991 stands out and the future one will be achieved in 2009. In the field of cultural equipments the team has designed the ‘Miguel Delibes Cultural Center’ in Valladolid, Spain, the ‘Arsenal Music Center’ in Metz, France, where the most famous maestros perform, and the ‘Shepherd School of Music” for Rice University in Houston. In Barcelona the Catalan Government commissioned the Taller the project for the ‘National Theatre of Catalonia’, a building of great cultural prestige.
Housing is another area intensely studied by ‘Taller de Arquitectura’, especially the great projects carried out in the 'Villes Nouvelles' near Paris. The Completed of several residential complex in Barcelona, Stockholm and The Hague reinforces the team's presence on the European housing scene. In the field of commercial centers outstand Casablanca Twin Center in Morocco and Lazona Kawasaki Plaza, near Tokyo. In Bratislava will be soon realized a set of buildings that will lodge houses, offices, commercial center and a hotel with a constructed surface of sqm 100,000.
‘Taller de Arquitectura’ has had the opportunity to demonstrate its know-how by carrying out several office building projects. The most relevant examples are the offices realized in Paris as the prestigious headquarters of ‘Paribas Marché Saint Honoré’, ‘Cartier ’, ‘Christian Dior’, ‘Decaux’, ‘Gan’ and ‘Axa Insurances’.
They has also realized office buildings in other european cities: Corso Karlin in Prague and Atrium Saldanha in Lisbon. Outstanding among the realisations are Lazona Kawasaki Plaza, a shopping centre of sqm 200,00, ‘Shiseido Building’ in Tokyo, the skyscrapers ‘JP Morgan Headquarters, completed in 2003 and ‘Donnelley Building’, in 1992, both in Chicago. Having won a series of important competitions, the ‘Taller’ asserts itself more and more in its capacity for diversification.