For terms and use, please refer to our Terms and Conditions Most notably, Barragán’s acclaimed sense of color and use of colonial objects and folk art as counterpoints to modern spaces was directly indebted to his close relationship to the artist and antiquarian Jesús “Chucho” Reyes. A riot of bold colors, stucco surfaces, and geometric angles, Mexico City is a design-lover’s dream. Visiting these often unassuming buildings, one senses the architect’s inner conflicts and his unwillingness to compromise, endowing even the most prosaic of works with extraordinary angles, emotionally affecting progressions between rooms, abundant natural light and a wealth of other sensory gratifications that no one asked from him, least of all the people who employed him at this stage of his career. Luis Barragán on the rooftop of his home and studio, Casa Barragán, in 1969. Barragán won the Pritzker Prize, the highest award in architecture, in 1980 for his evocative houses, gardens, and plazas, and his personal home, Luis Barragán House and Studio, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004. It proves that even at his most commercial, Barragán was trying out essential hallmarks of what would become his signature vocabulary: scenic framing, dramatic changes in scale and other minimal gestures with maximum impact, all while displaying unusual brilliance in handling space, light and volume with a poet’s precision and, perhaps above all, towering ambition. One reason, perhaps, is that to talk about this phase of Barragán, or really to talk honestly about any phase of Barragán’s productivity, means to acknowledge him as a visionary salesman as well as a prodigiously gifted architect. Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, Luis Ramiro Barragán Morfín’s works often entailed vivid, colour blocked structures, planned around plants, and integrating the geography of his native country. Luis Barragán’s house has no time. The stairwell alone is a symphony of jagged corners, as Barragán and Cetto sculpted the stone to appear dynamic, enhancing the effect by subtly but precisely deploying shadows and small optical illusions at every turn. Luis Barragán, age 83, was trained as an engineer and proudly continues as such, alongside his architectural practice. The peculiar way in which Barragán combined these is at the heart of what I’ve long found so fascinating about him.”. Select the purchase He starts incorporating Corbusian elements here and there upon his return to Guadalajara, where until now his work had consisted of Spanish-looking houses with round-arched openings, rustic woodwork and other distinctly pre-Modern details. Access supplemental materials and multimedia. 130. Banagán's career spanned over 50years in search of an autogenous architecture that rejected the three prevalent canons of architecture: neoclassicism, eclecticism, and international modernism. Nods to the European master can even be found, albeit in more subtle manifestations, in the Mexican’s late heroic houses — the famous floating staircase at Barragán’s own home, which he moved into in 1947, had its obvious precursor on the roof terrace of a Champs-Élysées penthouse Le Corbusier designed for a rich client. The sculptural spiral stairs — cast in concrete with volcanic rock steps — that lead to the mezzanine are another highlight, and a Cetto trademark. Luis Ramiro Barragán Morfín (Guadalajara, 9 marzo 1902 – Città del Messico, 22 novembre 1988) è stato un architetto e ingegnere messicano. ONE OF MEXICO CITY’S central neighborhoods, the Colonia Cuauhtémoc is of exceptional architectural significance. The building is also noteworthy for its illustrious inhabitants, among them the artist Juan Soriano and the Cuban-born designer Clara Porset, whose furniture designs were part of a recent exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago (another Porset show, this one focused on her writings, opened at Mexico City’s Museo Jumex on March 7). academic and professional journals in the humanities, social sciences, and medicine. The famous cantilevered staircase at Casa Barragán, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Before that, Cetto studied under the Expressionist Hans Poelzig in Berlin and was part of Ernst May’s groundbreaking New Frankfurt affordable-housing initiative. It may be more that we have wanted it this way. Even his greatest creative and aesthetic success, the exclusive residential subdivision known as Jardines del Pedregal de San Ángel — envisioned in 1945 as a collection of Modernist homes designed to both complement and contrast with the native vegetation and rock formations of a millenary lava field — was conceived of by Barragán as a business opportunity. While it lost some of its cosmopolitan feel to a transient office population, the area retains some of the discrete, slightly gloomy character that has always made it a favorite of architects and intellectuals. His architectural skills were self-taught. While his focus at this site initially was to design a rambling, multilevel garden, gradual additions to an existing structure slowly coalesced into an expansive T-shaped house. Not realizing Barragán’s architecture isn’t always made of walls — in fact, he cared as much about garden design as he did about physical rooms — when people do come, many skip the garden. Barragán distanced himself from his early Mexico City output. A frequent corollary of the Barragán myth is the assumption that he created without help. The myth of Barragán often tends to leave out his sharp entrepreneurial instincts. So why has his early Mexico City work effectively been denied, and why does most of it remain stuck in neglected anonymity? It is possible that the idea for the building — and its strangely specific purpose — was Barragán’s, and he somehow convinced the sisters that it would be a good investment and source of income for them. Still, the pair saved Melchor Ocampo 38’s double pièce de résistance for the inside of every apartment: Upon entering, a small vestibule, deliberately compressed on all sides, opens up unexpectedly to a double-height space dominated by a single large frame-like window articulated with a grid of slender mullions. In notes from that trip, Barragán described the paradigmatic residence, which epitomized Le Corbusier’s radical theories for a new international architecture — characterized by whitewashed, rational “machines for living” with flat, terraced roofs, purist forms and long horizontal openings — as “very modern, like a beautiful sculpture.” The young Barragán, who was deeply affected by the Swiss father of Modernist architecture, does not fit so tidily into today’s prevalent reading of him as the author of introverted, almost fortified domestic sanctuaries known for their rich color schemes and locally inspired, joyfully inefficient touches. His professional training was in engineering, resulting in a degree at the age of twenty-three. Saved by LAURA CAPRON. In a telling 1962 interview, he refers to his creations from this period as “edificitos” (little buildings), “nothing great.”. 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