A Master Of Space And Light; Luis Barragan

Todays post subject is from Gerardo Haro Alvarez, an‘Architecture Of Life’ reader and my dear facebook friend. Creating a community, even a small one is not easy, but it worths… We thank him so much for making us remember one of the masters of space and light Luis Barragan (1902-1988).     “Any work of architecture that does not express serenity is a mistake” Says Luis Barragan, the most influential Mexian architect of the 20th century. He was educated as an engineer and self-trained as an architect. Famed for his mastery of space and light, he reinvented the International Style as a colourful, sensuous genre of Mexican modernism.


Cuadra San Cristobál, Los Clubes, 1966-68 Luis Barragan

Fuente de los Amantes, Los Clubes, 1966 Luis Barragan

Barragán worked for years with little acknowledgement or praise until 1975 when he was honored with a retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 1980, he became the second winner of the Pritzker Prize. His house and studio, built in 1948 in Mexico City, was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2004. Barragán attended lectures by Le Corbusier on his trip to Europe, and he became influenced by the European modernism of his time. The purist clean lines so evident in the work he produced in the years since his return to Mexico are evidence of the influence of the Modernist movement. Nonetheless, according to Andres Casillas (who worked with Barragán), he eventually became entirely convinced that the house should not be”a machine for living.” Opposed to functionalism, Barragán advocated for an”emotional architecture” claiming that,”Any work of architecture which does not express serenity is a mistake.” Barragán always used natural materials such as stone or wood in his work. He combined these natural materials with a pronounced creative use of light, enlivening his enchanting creations. Another characteristic elements of Barragán’s work is a thin sheet of water in the courtyard.

Campbell Divertimento House, Luis Barragan& Raul Ferrera

Casa Gilardi, 1975-77 Luis Barragan

Gilardi House- In the streets of Mexico City, in a narrow elongated area of 10×36 meters, three walls and a mediator to the front line municipal, Barragán, its 80 years of age and after almost 10 years of inactivity, makes its last work, perhaps the most paradigmatic of all.

Casa Gilardi, 1975-77 Luis Barragan

Casa Gilardi, 1975-77 Luis Barragan

In Casa Gilardi, Luis Barragan mastered light and colour to create a space with a feeling of poetic serenity.

I know that I would be upset if I hadn’t talked about Barragan’s spaces in Architecture Of Life! Have a colorful day…

And for the last, you can find more about Barragan at ourfacebook page.

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