Ricardo Bofill: in the Starchitect family home in Mont-ras, Spain

Ricardo Bofill’s designs are replete with historical references in the form of architectural elements he incorporated into his buildings: columns, exterior staircases, large patios, terraces, water features and even trees. He rejected the prevailing rationalism of his time and instead created buildings grounded in joy, connecting them to their environments and to the wider cityscapes. He rejected the fashionable embrace among his peers in the 70s and 80s for single family homes while creating his own unique contemporary style.

Many of the principles of Ricardo Bofill’s designs are carried on by his sons and the studio, which has more than a hundred employees working on projects everywhere from Spain to Saudi Arabia; these principles are also evident in the Mont-ras house. One of them is the central role given to the fireplace (which continues to be a signature of the studio today), as well as typical elements of Mediterranean design: the emphasis on patios, the natural environment , water and choice of materials. . But above all, the space displays extreme minimalism.

At the Girona house there is not a single work of art, and even the furnishings are sparse, with only a few selected pieces by Aalto, Mackintosh and Magistretti, as well as Bofill’s own studio. “It’s an anti-decorative space. The house is a work of art that offers an anti-bourgeois model of life,” explains Pablo. “The only sculptures here are the cypresses.”

An original Charles Rennie Mackintosh desk and chair in one of the rooms in the house.

The Mont-ras house was designed for both leisure and reflection, to live alone or together, depending on your mood at the time. “Today it is a laboratory for many different disciplines. We invite friends over and they always end up enjoying creative moments here,” says Paiva. “It’s our home, but it’s also an engine that generates ideas.” Some of his works, which have been exhibited in galleries in Europe, Latin America and the United States, most recently at Studio Twenty Seven in Miami, have found inspiration here.