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  7. AD Classics: Kafka Castle / Ricardo Bofill

AD Classics: Kafka Castle / Ricardo Bofill

AD Classics: Kafka Castle / Ricardo Bofill
AD Classics: Kafka Castle / Ricardo Bofill, Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill
Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill

© wikimedia commons Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill +8

From the architect. Known for his innovative and colorful structures Catalan architect, Ricardo Bofill and his multidisciplinary firm, Taller de Arquitectura collaborated on the design of a unique apartment complex outside of Barcelona in the Sant Pere de Ribes area.

Completed in 1968, the Kafka Castle –an homage to Franz Kafka – strays away from the traditional design techniques and aesthetics of typical Spanish apartment buildings. 

Rather than a development through site, plan, and context, Bofill implemented a series of mathematical equations that generated the position of all ninety dwellings, as well as the Kafka Castle’s siting.

Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill
Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill

In 1963, Bofill founded his firm, Taller de Arquitectura, to be a progressive and innovative multidisciplinary team of architects, engineers, sociologists, and philosophers that would provide modern design on a series of social, cultural, and scalar levels.  

plan
plan

It wasn’t until the 1970s that the firm became internationally known for their colorful, innovative, and oddly titled buildings.  Kafka Castle was one of the projects that propelled Bofill and his firm onto the international stage.

Often referred to as a resort, Kafka Castle is an apartment complex consisting of 90 apartments, a swimming pool, sauna, bar, and restaurants.  Even though, the Kafka Castle maintains some programmatic similarities of a typical Spanish apartment building, the design of the apartment complex differs greatly.  The complex is an assemblage of prefabricated cubes that are based on two mathematical equations that generate their placement in relationship to the vertical circulation towers in addition to the overall site design.

Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill
Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill

Bofill and his team employed two equations that would lead to the volumetric design of Kafka Castle. The first equation generated the number of room capsules that plug into the stair towers. While the second equation determined the height of each spiral progression around the stair towers.  

Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill
Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill

Aside from the prefabricated elements, the two equations provided a non standardized design based solely off a generative process that created volumetric overlapping and close proximal juxtapositions that begin to create interior voids within the cubic composition.

The pods, or cubes, are small prefabricated units that because of their size and scale to the overall organizational system only contain one room or space allowing for each pod to have a direct connection to the centralized stair tower.  The cubes are designed in such a manner that each cube contains one important spatial element to the overall construction of the apartment units.  One cube may have a bathroom-bedroom or they may have a living room-dining room combination.

Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill
Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill

The apartments are then created through the combination of the different units that are all connected through various level changes within the interior of the units.

Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill
Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill

Coincidentally, around the same time Moshe Safdie was building a similar scheme, Habitat 67, in Montreal, Canada for Expo 67.  Both projects explore the cellular housing typologies that branch out from a central organization system in addition to the diverse spatial qualities that are generated from a more unitized and porous design.

© wikimedia commons
© wikimedia commons
Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: Andrew Kroll. "AD Classics: Kafka Castle / Ricardo Bofill" 22 Mar 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/121483/ad-classics-kafka-castle-ricardo-bofill/>
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61 Comments

AY?E ALKAN · November 29, 2012

ben nereye geldim.
kuzum senin blo?un böylemiydi.
huuu ses ver:)))

Corentin · May 05, 2012
Carlos A. Briceño F. · December 02, 2011

AD Classics: Kafka Castle / Ricardo Bofill
http://t.co/BbT26hKd

Alla · August 21, 2011

AD Classics: Kafka Castle / Ricardo Bofill | ArchDaily http://t.co/pL0Nyeb via @archdaily

Bruno Bellomo · July 11, 2011

AD Classics: Kafka Castle / Ricardo Bofill http://t.co/pdD4l0K vía @archdaily

jp galleguillos · April 10, 2011

Definitivamente no recuerdo como entrar a este edificio!? http://is.gd/LUx7ut @plethoraapp

Mark Davis · March 28, 2011

Now there&#39s a crazy apartment block. http://is.gd/LUx7ut @plethoraapp

Jane Misun Shim · March 28, 2011

AD Classics: Kafka Castle / Ricardo Bofill | ArchDaily http://t.co/hV2mxLC via @archdaily

Chris Wotherspoon · March 28, 2011

Heading to checkout Kafka&#39s Castle by Ricardo Bofill before uni. http://www.archdaily.com/12148...

remic · March 28, 2011

Architecture Classic: Kafka Castle / Ricardo Bofill http://t.co/3wkN76k #architecture via @urbain_

URBAIN trop URBAIN · March 27, 2011

[Best of] Visiter un classique architectural: le Kafka Castle, par Ricardo Bofill http://ow.ly/4mHCx #architecture

indah setyaningsih · March 27, 2011

http://www.archdaily.com/12148... this is the same concept layout with my 3rd year school project

Itnn Putt · March 27, 2011

http://is.gd/LUx7ut @plethoraapp

jeff · March 26, 2011

Wonderful architecture, Bofill at his best, before the period of post-modernism

Barby Omodei · March 25, 2011

#arquitectura RT @ARISVERA http://t.co/c8Mgmw6 castillo moderno

Andriy Koval · March 24, 2011

???????? ?????????. ?????-?????-???????! AD Classics: Kafka Castle / Ricardo Bofill http://bit.ly/eAmlRX

Arthur Michel · March 24, 2011

RT @urbain_: Visiter un classique architectural: le Kafka Castle, par Ricardo Bofill http://ow.ly/4kTkm #architecture

?????????????? · March 24, 2011

????Ricardo Bofill??Kafka Castle??????????????????????????????1968??????????????????????????????http://bit.ly/eRjF8t

munter roe · March 24, 2011

Its all about context, oh wait, forget that...

Heo eun kyung · March 24, 2011

AD Classics: Kafka Castle / Ricardo Bofill | ArchDaily http://www.archdaily.com/?p=12...

ARIS VERA · March 24, 2011

http://t.co/c8Mgmw6 castillo moderno #fb

Nicholas Patten · March 24, 2011

AD Classics: Kafka Castle. http://bit.ly/e8tLqL

Cristian Razvan Goldschmidt · March 24, 2011

Ha, nice project, good point Josh Mings, I was intend to say the same thing! By the way it is more interesting to me, because this days I start to read Franz Kafka's Castel, and I really think Bofill was there inspired! Anyway nice project!

M. v. Aufschnaiter · March 24, 2011

&#39Kafka Castle&#39 (yes, that&#39s actually the name) from 1968 near #Barcelona: http://bit.ly/gROBew #architecture #Kafka

vera · March 24, 2011

Fantastic!

Mobile Studio · March 23, 2011

AD Classics: Kafka Castle / Ricardo Bofill | ArchDaily http://t.co/wW0lyHz via @archdaily

YYm Hrm · March 23, 2011

???AD Classics: Kafka Castle / Ricardo Bofill | ArchDaily http://www.archdaily.com/?p=12...

Jon MacDonald · March 23, 2011

Today&#39s Modern Architecture #WANT: http://is.gd/LUx7ut

ayça keskin · March 23, 2011

AD Classics: Kafka Castle / Ricardo Bofill | ArchDaily http://t.co/Hs8b4kN via @archdaily bay?ld?m öldüm bittim i?te budur

Bogdan · March 23, 2011

????? ?? #AD http://t.co/ouxMMij via @archdaily

Josh Mings · March 23, 2011

It is the same construction technique, but this isn't an issue of Bofill ripping off Safdie or vise versa. Prefab was in during the 50's and 60's, and they both used it on various housing projects. Safdie used different modules to get his differentiation and composition, while it looks like Bofill used the same module throughout but detailed them differently. You have to look deeper than just formal aspects before declaring that someone ripped someone else off.

Manuel · March 23, 2011

This project was realized in 1963.
Who stole who?

Gill+Dudwadkar Arch. · March 23, 2011

AD Classics: Kafka Castle / Ricardo Bofill | ArchDaily http://t.co/cYVSaS3 #architecture #design #housing #residential

Gill+Dudwadkar Arch. · March 23, 2011

AD Classics: Kafka Castle / Ricardo Bofill | ArchDaily http://t.co/cYVSaS3 #architecture #design #housing #residential

Robin · March 23, 2011

AD Classics: Kafka Castle / Ricardo Bofill http://tinyurl.com/4nw2uyx via #googlereader

Arch · March 23, 2011

Ahead of its time - a density precedent http://www.archdaily.com/12148...

Isra Blasco Giménez · March 23, 2011

Rollito agregacion: AD Classics: Kafka Castle / Ricardo Bofill http://feedly.com/k/ij8J87

pinar k · March 23, 2011

RT @magrisos: AD Classics: Kafka Castle / Ricardo Bofill | ArchDaily http://t.co/elkiULe via @archdaily sene 1968.

Samim Magriso · March 23, 2011

AD Classics: Kafka Castle / Ricardo Bofill | ArchDaily http://t.co/elkiULe via @archdaily sene 1968.

A.C.Id. · March 23, 2011

El metabolista español (conocía el Walden, éste no): Kafka Castle / Ricardo Bofill | ArchDaily http://t.co/eDsaufK vía @archdaily

Sakharov Kirill · March 23, 2011

????? ?????????? ?? ??? http://bit.ly/eqnTsV

alon · March 23, 2011

moshe safdie's habitat was built in 1967 wich means Ricardo Bofill probably stole safdie's idea..
safdie also made a far more intresting building

linetrio · March 23, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: Kafka Castle / Ricardo Bofill http://archdai.ly/fdLUtg #architecture

Dennis Moss · March 23, 2011

@archi: it's definitely in the same league as Moshe Safdie and Herman Hertzberger...

archi · March 25, 2011 08:51 AM

Yeah, I know. My comment was aimed more at the archdaily criteratti, who seem to think that every second project on this site is a rip-off of something else, rather than at the project itself. :)

Handy Hooks · March 23, 2011

ArchDaily: AD Classics: Kafka Castle / Ricardo Bofill http://archdai.ly/fdLUtg #architecture http://bit.ly/fr4If3

DEZIGN · March 23, 2011

AD Classics: Kafka Castle / Ricardo Bofill: © Ricardo BofillKnown for his innovative and colorful structures Cat... http://bit.ly/hDKhBc

lemi · March 23, 2011

the stuff legends are made of

Scott @ Cube Studio · March 23, 2011

AD Classics: Kafka Castle / Ricardo Bofill | ArchDaily: Known for his innovative and colorfu... http://bit.ly/icud3x www.cubestudio.info

sudark · March 23, 2011

This is quite advanced for the time, it predates the current fascination with generative processes

Jinny To · March 23, 2011

RT @archdaily: AD Classics: Kafka Castle / Ricardo Bofill http://archdai.ly/fdLUtg #architecture

Javier Palacios · March 23, 2011
archi · March 23, 2011

Oh, this must be a rip off of something-or-other. Google it.

Erik Joya · March 23, 2011

AD Classics: Kafka Castle / Ricardo Bofill: © Ricardo Bofill Known for his innovative and… http://goo.gl/fb/8Rd0u

gi . · March 23, 2011

omg, so many blocks, so mathematical. - http://bit.ly/enzlZ1

Eco Cubed · March 23, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: Kafka Castle / Ricardo Bofill http://archdai.ly/fdLUtg #architecture

Barry Maguire · March 23, 2011

AD Classics: Kafka Castle / Ricardo Bofill via ArchDaily - © Ricardo Bofill Known for his innovative ... http://tinyurl.com/4maagzc

Héctor Coss · March 23, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: Kafka Castle / Ricardo Bofill http://archdai.ly/fdLUtg #architecture

JUAN PABLO TATA · March 23, 2011

+1 RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: Kafka Castle / Ricardo Bofill http://archdai.ly/fdLUtg #architecture

tatiana paez · March 23, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: Kafka Castle / Ricardo Bofill http://archdai.ly/fdLUtg #architecture

Rodolfo Sauma · March 23, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: Kafka Castle / Ricardo Bofill http://archdai.ly/fdLUtg #architecture

Edison Ramirez Lemüs · March 23, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: Kafka Castle / Ricardo Bofill http://archdai.ly/fdLUtg #architecture

···

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