Monday, December 14, 2009

On the Trail of Luis Barragan......














Luis Barragan (1902 -1988) is Mexico's most important architect - a master of minimalist modernism. Now recognised for his genius with light, colour, and space, he was totally unacknowledged for most of his life, until a retrospective of his work at MOMA, New York in 1975, which led to him receiving the Pritzker Prize in 1980. His residence and studio built in 1947 in the colonia of Tacubaya is now a museum and UNESCO world heritage site, but I want to take you on a tour of one of his lesser known works - Casa Gilardi in San Miguel de Chapultepec, his final house built in 1975 - 1977....


















Barragan was self-taught and self-trained and most well known for his tall coloured walls and planes of colour. He always used natural materials in natural contexts and blended interior spaces with the exterior. The tree in the patio space is a Jacaranda and the flowers in March are the same shade of purple as these walls...



















The blossoms are left unswept to naturally complement these shades of purple and pink....


















Fortunately the current owners, resident since 1995, have kept everything intact according to Barragan's original design, but they are under no obligation as this house is now an ordinary residence not protected in any way. The piece de la resistance of the design is the swimming pool room which is an amazing optical illusion of depth and colour achieved by such simplicity. It is forbidden to take photos in this space, so you will have to take a look at the wikipedia images which gives only the merest sense of its breathtaking beauty.
Casa Gilardi can be found at General Leon 82 and the Barragan house and studio at General Francisco Ramirez 12 - both by appointment only. To see the best of the rest of the world this week, click here for My World Tuesday postings. Enjoy!!

7 comments:

Sylvia K said...

What an interesting post, Catherine! I love his use of colors and the jacaranda tree! Those trees are one of the things that I miss. Love your photos as always!

Wishing you a good week and a very Merry Christmas!

Sylvia

Cate said...

Yes I agree with Sylvia, it's an interesting post.Architecture is fascinating stuff no matter the size and scale. Love these pictures as well!!!

Martha Z said...

Very intesting, it's too bad you couldn't show us the interior. I know why you like it, it's red.

Indrani said...

Interesting! Good the present owners are taking care of them well.

J said...

I'm sold on the colours alone. I wonder why its forbidden to take photos in the swimming pool room...this is the kind of odd little fact that has me making up stories.

Catherine said...

Greetings from Costa Rica everyone where I am now really chilled out!! Thanks so much for all the comments and have a wonderful Christmas and New Year xx

Fly Girl said...

You know I love the colors and the lines of the structures are beautiful. He really was a genius. Happy Holidays to you Catherine!