Luis Barragán (1902 – 1988)

“Architecture becomes an art when one consciously or unconsciously creates aesthetic emotion in the atmosphere and when this environment produces well being.” Luis Ramiro Barragán Morfín, Mexican architect and engineer.

Luis Barragán

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About his life

Luis Ramiro Barragán Morfín (March 9, 1902 – November 22, 1988) was a Mexican architect and engineer. In 1931, after getting a degree in civil engineering, he met Bac and Le Corbusier, both of whom would have had a profound influence on his work. He began to conceive new methods by which he could create “emotional architecture,” which would encourage meditation and quietude. For his serene and evocative houses, gardens, plazas and fountains, he won the Pritzker Prize in 1980.

Luis Barragán

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What are Barragán’s style main features ?

A religious man, Barragán and his work have been described as “mystical” as well as serene. His chapel for the Capuchinas Sacramentarias is an evidence of both qualities. Because of his interest in horses, he designed many stables, fountains and water troughs that manifest many of these same qualities.

Fuente de los Amantes, by Luis Barragan

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The work of Luis Barragán is often quoted in reference to minimalist architecture. Most architects who do minimalistic architecture do not use color, but the ideas of forms and spaces which Barragán pioneered are still there.

Barragan House, Mexico City, Mexico, 1948

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The rooms burst with light and colour and are decorated with leather chairs and animal-skin lamps, and the attached studio frequently hosts artists in residence.

Barragan House, Mexico City, Mexico, 1948

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Luis Barragán House and Studio, Mexico, 1948

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What are his most famous creations?

The majority of the structures he built are in Guadalajara and Mexico City. Among his notable works are the house he created around existing buildings at 20–22 Calle Ramírez in the Tacubaya district of Mexico City, where he lived beginning in the 1940s; numbers 10 and 12 Avenida de las Fuentes, among the first houses to be built in El Pedregal, and the Prieto López House there; the San Cristóbal Stables/Egerstrom House; the Gálvez House; and the Gilardi House. The Barragan Foundation (1996) is located near Basel, Switz.

Casa Gilardi, in Mexico City, Mexico ,  by Luis Barragán 

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Casa Gilardi, in Mexico City, Mexico ,  by Luis Barragán 

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Fountain of Casa Gilardi- in Mexico City, Mexico ,  by Luis Barragán- Rough textures and water reflections heighten the impact of bright sunlight in his colorful buildings

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Casa Gilardi- Interior of Casa Gilardi, by Luis Barragán, in Mexico City, Mexico

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