Walden 7 – Sant Just Desvern

Located outside Barcelona in Sant Just Desvern lies the urban project Walden 7. Previously a cement factory, the complex has its place amongst one of the most unique and innovative buildings in Spain today.

It’s name a reference to B.F Skinner’s 1948 utopian sci-fi novel Walden Two, it was thought up as a building-city hybrid by famed Catalan architect Ricardo Bofill (Muralla Roja, Barri Gaudi, and Taller de Arquitectura amongst others) construction began in 1972.

This vertical labyrinth represents many of the concepts Bofill had expressed in his 1968 Manifesto “Hacia una formalizacion de la ciudad en el espacio” such as en emphasis on community, open shared spaces, open corridors to enable social interaction between inhabitants, several game rooms, shops, as well as two swimming pools on the rooftop, which doubles as a second garden atop the city. In total almost 500 apartments are placed around this 30.000m2 concrete behemoth.

Anyone familiar with my work can immediately see why I’m so drawn to and fascinated by this building. It’s dominated by straight lines, symmetry, strong colors, and veritcality; all aspects which play important roles in my photography.