The lost model of Ricardo Bofill’s Kafka’s Castle

For the exhibition ‘Kafka. Making of an Icon’ (May 30 – October 27, 2024), celebrating the 100th anniversary of Franz Kafka’s death, the Bodleian Libraries partnered with Factum Foundation to recreate a lost concept model of Ricardo Bofill’s building known as ‘Kafka’s Castle’.

The final recreation of the concept model for Kafka’s Castle © Oak Taylor-Smith | Factum Foundation

This iconic apartment complex, overlooking the Sitges bay in Sant Pere de Ribes, Spain, since 1968, pays homage to Kafka’s 1926 novel with its name. Since then, it has undergone a drastic colour change from its original bluish-purple.

In collaboration with the archivists at Ricardo Bofill Taller de Arquitectura (RBTA), Factum Foundation meticulously reconstructed Ricardo Bofill’s concept model. Characterised by the innovative use of aluminium rods, the original model was unfortunately lost over time. The recreation pays homage to Bofill’s architectural vision and intricate design process.

Using the original architectural plans of the 90 modular unit apartments, the Factum team crafted and 3D printed in resin a 1:125 scale model of the original building. The final object displays the model in plaster white against a CNC-milled matte black terrain, with meticulously crafted blue trees made in plaster and resin mix.

Render of the 3D model © Imran Khan | Factum Foundation