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Photo Journal

Muralla De Sueños (Wall of Dreams)

A photo series by Joanna Joy

Muralla de Sueños - Joanna Joy

The first time I saw a photo of La Muralla Roja, I was absolutely enamoured.


La Muralla Roja (Spanish for ‘The Red Wall’) is a postmodern apartment complex in La Manzanera, Calpe, Spain, designed in 1968 by architect Ricardo Bofill. It is not open to the general public, so if I wanted to see the site in its entirety, I’d have to stay there. 


In the summer of 2018, I was living and working in Portugal. I was already planning a trip to Spain so it felt like a given that I’d add La Muralla Roja to my itinerary. Three months, a plane, bus, and taxi ride later, I was finally there — lost in a maze of beauty.

It was like a real-life, sunset coloured rendition of M.C. Escher’s Relativity.

muralla de sueños - unos
muralla de sueños - siete

La Muralla Roja is a remarkable example of Arab-Mediterranean architecture, inspired by the Casbah (the walled citadel typical of traditional architecture in North African countries). The fortress-like structure is reflected by a series of interlocking stairs, bridges, platforms, patios, and tall vertical walls that mimic the contours of the surrounding cliffs.

Muralla Roja
muralla blue
muralla stairs

This photo series, titled Muralla De Sueños (Wall of Dreams), explores the complex labyrinth that is the imagination of the architect, as well as the dream-like state one experiences when exploring such surreal and  colourful places. It seeks to fascinate viewers with its unique colour palette, geometric shapes, light and shadow play, and constructivist aesthetic.

I dedicate this series to Ricardo Bofill, who recently passed away in January 2022 at the age of 82. He was a visionary architect, whose complex, radical, and imaginative approach to design pushed boundaries to address larger political and societal issues.

By Joanna Joy

Joanna Joy Afghani is a photographer and videographer currently based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, though she often divides her time living between Prague, Czech Republic and Lisbon, Portugal. Joanna has spent years capturing images of people, cultures, and architecture from around the world uniquely and distinctively. Exploring many types of photography mediums, including medium format film and digital, she seeks to document time and place in its most genuine moments.

Prints and personal requests are available at

Visit and @littlejoybook

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