Today we’re taking a trip to a place that I’ve been enthralled by for a while now! This week’s featured project takes us to sunny Calpe, Spain to a postmodern apartment complex — the fabled La Muralla Roja. Muralla Roja was designed by architect Ricardo Bofill in 1968 and is esteemed for its bold colors and blocky, labyrinth-like design. The Red Wall has been photographed many times, but my favorite images are by Stockholm based photographer Jeanette Hägglund.
Jeanette has photographed many great architecture and interiors projects, but I think her greatest prowess is showcasing the form and colors that come with the exteriors of architecture. She is masterful at creating photographs that feel graphic, geometric, and lively. This project is the perfect example!
Jeanette employs careful timing to create photographs that harness good hard light to chisel out the shapeliness of La Muralla Roja and help it read as a three-dimensional space in a two-dimensional medium. The shadows and hard lines help us denote the depth of the stairways and passages.
There is such great color and contrast in Jeanette’s photographs that make it feel as if we are looking at a pop art print, and really brings a sense of fine art to the architecture. In this image, I love the contrast between the window view and the interior of this little hallway. Our eyes are pulled right through the dark image to the bright exterior. The blue of the ocean and sky stand out against the deep reds and pinks in the rest of the scene.
This vantage point shows off not only La Muralla Roja’s epic seaside location and how it appears to float on the ocean, but also gives us a look at its maze-like design. La Muralla Roja is inspired by North African casbahs, and with its interlocking staircases, bridges, and complex array of platforms, it reads as a giant whimsical puzzle.
I just love the hard shadows and bright directional light here that pulls out the vibrancy of the colors and denotes the depth and intricacy of the design. Often, one-point perspectives can come across a bit flat, but Jeanette times the light for this shot, creating a very dynamic and interesting image.
Again, she creates such perfect compositions that take the complex shapes found in La Muralla Roja and distill them down into chunks that leave us wanting more. There is a great sense of rhythm and movement and even a bit of chaos, but it works so well throughout this structure!
I enjoy Jeanette’s composition and the layering of the foreground here. It creates a depth and dimensionality to this staircase, in addition to the fall-off and sweeping gradients of light that define the shapes in this area of the apartment building.
With more great layering, our eyes are pulled through this abstract image out to the little slice of the ocean we see beyond. I love the gradient from sea to sky and how airy it feels among the hard lines and bold shadows. This photograph is such a great representation of this series, and perfectly packages up the graphic and artistic qualities of this project!
A big Thank You to Jeanette Hägglund for sharing her photographs of Muralla Roja with us here at APA!
If you have a project you’d like to be considered for Project of the Week, you can submit it here.