For Sebastian Weiss, it’s not the popularity of a building or the architect’s name that lures him in. ‘It could also be a completely trivial building, like a supermarket or parking garage that has a charisma.’ In November 2019, spurred on by the release of ‘Ricardo Bofill: Visions of Architecture’, Weiss visited one of the architect’s most notable feats, ‘La Muralla Roja’ designed in 1968 and located in Calp, Spain. 

Lodging in the fully-functioning apartment complex for a week, he documented the strict, alternating geometry, surreal colour schemes and sci-fi-esque shadow plays. Here, Weiss offers a window into the otherworldly realm of ‘The Red Wall’. As a tribute to the legendary Spanish architect, who passed away on 14 January 2022, we revisit Weiss’ experience of creating the iconic series. 

Sebastian Weiss on photographing Ricardo Bofill’s La Muralla Roja

‘The sun was already low in the sky, casting the entire series in a warm autumnal tone. Long shadows intensified the impression of the strict architecture and add more plasticity to the images.’

Sebastian Weiss’ photo series on Ricardo Bofill ’La Muralla Roja’ in Calp, Spain
Sebastian Weiss’ photo series on Ricardo Bofill ’La Muralla Roja’ in Calp, Spain

‘The photographic encounter with a building feels to me like a meeting with a strange or unknown person, there is curiosity and tension, but also respect and restraint.’

Sebastian Weiss’ photo series on Ricardo Bofill’s ’La Muralla Roja’ in Calp, Spain
Upward view of Sebastian Weiss’ photo series on Ricardo Bofill’s ’La Muralla Roja’ in Calp, Spain

‘This architectural utopia was really a major event for me as a photographer because it is such an absurdly beautiful and surreal location, which appears sometimes like a film set or a staging.’ 

Sebastian Weiss’ photo series on Ricardo Bofill’s ’La Muralla Roja’ in Calp, Spain
Upward view of Sebastian Weiss’ photo series on Ricardo Bofill’s ’La Muralla Roja’ in Calp, Spain