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Luis Barragán: The Latest Architecture and News

Architectural Association and Zeller & Moye presents "PALIMPSEST BARRAGAN"

Palimpsest Barragan poses a once in a lifetime opportunity to engage eye to eye with an architectural masterpiece of 20th century modernism by the Mexican architect Luis Barragan. As a hidden and still unknown architectural jewel set amidst a paradisiac jungle on the Pacific coast, the ruins of the never completed building have sunk into oblivion, not unlike the ancient Mexican pyramids, and are currently in progressive decay. The workshop will not only ‘unearth’ the project and at last put it on the map of architectural discourse, but it might even have a larger impact by kickstarting a debate around the preservation of its ruins from disintegration.

The Barragán Foundation Compiles 5 Decades of the Mexican Architect's Work

March 9 of last year marked Luis Barragán's 119th birthday and, in celebration of their namesake, the Barragan Foundation announced via their Instagram that they were launching the institution's newly revamped website. This signified two things--one, the absolute effort needed in order to compile every known Barragan work and the value this archive will have in aiding in the study of the architect's work and, two, the sweeping de-mystification of Barragan himself.

Why Did Luis Barragán Win the Pritzker Prize?

On March 9, what would have been Luis Barragán's 119th birthday, we commemorate Mexico's most celebrated architect and discuss his winning of the 1980 Pritzker Prize.

Who Has Won the Pritzker Prize?

The Pritzker Prize is the most important award in the field of architecture, awarded to a living architect whose built work "has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity through the art of architecture." The Prize rewards individuals, not entire offices, as took place in 2000 (when the jury selected Rem Koolhaas instead of his firm OMA) or in 2016 (with Alejandro Aravena selected instead of Elemental); however, the prize can also be awarded to multiple individuals working together, as took place in 2001 (Herzog & de Meuron), 2010 (Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of SANAA), and 2017 (Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem, and Ramon Vilalta of RCR Arquitectes).

Casa Orozco: Luis Barragán and José Clemente Orozco's Guadalajaran Masterpiece

© Lorena Darquea© David Lozano Díaz© Lorena Darquea© Lorena Darquea+ 5

This article is a part of a collaboration with coolhuntermx.com. It was originally published under the title "Luis Barragán and José Clemente Orozco,The House They Built Together ", written and photograped by David Lozano Díaz in collaboration with Lorena Darquea.

There's a lot of discussion surrounding Casa Orozco as to who the real creator is —Luis Barragán or José Clemente Orozco. And even though we know that one of them was responsible for the architecture, the answer still remains unclear. Orozco returned to Mexico in 1934, by invitation from the Mexico City government, after a seven year stint in New York. Once he arrived, he was commissioned to paint a mural inside the Palacio de Bellas Artes. Afterwards, he received commissions from the Jalisco Government to paint a series of murals for three public buildings in Guadalajara.

Free Coloring Book by Carmelina&Aurelio Features Projects From Oscar Niemeyer and Luis Barragán

© Carmelina&Aurelio© Carmelina&Aurelio© Carmelina&Aurelio© Carmelina&Aurelio+ 12

Carmelina&Aurelio Architecture Studio based in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas in Mexico, released a book with architectural illustrations to color. The book in PDF format is available on their website for free and consists of eight letter-size pages. Read on for the featured projects as well as examples of color palettes for further inspiration.

Spotlight: Luis Barragán

© <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Barraganmof234.jpg'>Wikimedia user Tomjc.55</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 4.0</a>
© Wikimedia user Tomjc.55 licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

"The Art of Seeing. It is essential to an architect to know how to see: I mean, to see in such a way that the vision is not overpowered by rational analysis." - Luis Barragán

One of Mexico's greatest architects, Luis Ramiro Barragán Morfín (March 9, 1902 – November 22, 1988) revolutionized modern architecture in the country with his use of bright colors reminiscent of the traditional architecture of Mexico, and with works such as his Casa Barragán, the Chapel of the Capuchinas, the Torres de Satélite, "Los Clubes" (Cuadra San Cristobal and Fuente de los Amantes), and the Casa Gilardi, among many others.

'The Proposal', a Documentary that Explores the Legacy of the Mexican Architect Luis Barragán

The artist and writer Jill Magid presents a documentary dedicated to the life of the "artist among the architects": Luis Barragán, who is one of the most famous architects of the 20th century. Upon his death in 1988, much of his work was locked in a Swiss bunker, hidden from view of the world. In an attempt to resurrect Barragán's life and art, the redefinition of "The Proposal" limits creates an audacious proposal that becomes a fascinating work of art in itself, a cable negotiation act that explores how far it will go an artist to democratize access to art.

Porto Academy presents workshop 'Visiting Barragán' in Mexico City

Porto Academy is the result of an enormous passion for architecture as a discipline who believes that practice, as an exercise in the profession of architect, is fundamental for the future of the discipline and, therefore, one of the reasons why the program was founded.

Bringing Work Home: 9 Times Architects Designed for Themselves

Cien House / Pezo von Ellrichshausen. Image © Cristobal Palma
Cien House / Pezo von Ellrichshausen. Image © Cristobal Palma

Architects are often bound by the will of their client, reluctantly sacrificing and compromising design choices in order to suit their needs. But what happens when architects become their own clients? When architects design for themselves, they have the potential to test their ideas freely, explore without creative restriction, and create spaces which wholly define who they are, how they design, and what they stand for. From iconic architect houses like the Gehry Residence in Santa Monica to private houses that double as a public-entry museum, here are 9 fascinating examples of how architects design when they only have themselves to answer to.

Cien House / Pezo von Ellrichshausen. Image © Cristobal PalmaMelnikov House. Image © Denis EsakovGehry Residence. Image via netropolitan.orgLyon Housemuseum / Lyons. Image © Dianna Snape+ 20

7 Architects Who Weren't Afraid to Use Color

Interior of Casa Gilardi. Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ACasa_Liraldi_Luis_Barrag%C3%A1n.JPG'> Wikimedia user Ulises00</a> licensed under <a href=' https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_domain'>Public Domain</a>Casa Batlló. Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Barcelona_Casa_Batll%C3%B3_DachterrasseKamine.jpg'>Wikimedia user M.Stallbaum</a> licensed under <a href='https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_domain'>Public Domain</a>St. Coletta School / Michael Graves. Image Courtesy of Michael GravesCafé l'Aubette. Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Strasbourg_Cin%C3%A9_Bal_de_l%27Aubette_janvier_2014-17.jpg'>Wikimedia user Claude Truong-Ngoc</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 3.0</a>+ 22

Some architects love color, some are unmoved by it, some hate it, and some love to dismiss it as too whimsical or non-serious for architecture. In an essay on the subject, Timothy Brittain-Catlin mentions the “innate puritanism among clients of architecture,” architects and their “embarrassment of confronting color,” and how “Modernism tried to ‘educate out’ bright colors.” So, while the debate on color in architecture is far from being a new one, it is not finished, and probably never will be.

In today’s world where the exhausted stereotype of the no-nonsense architect clad in black still persists, and while we quietly mull over the strange pull of the Cosmic Latte, there are some architects who haven’t been afraid of using broad swathes of color in their work at all. Read on for a list of 7 such exemplary architects both from the past and the present.

30 Years After Luis Barragán: 30 Architects Share Their Favorite Works

Torres de Satélite / Luis Barragán + Mathias Goeritz. Image © Rodrigo FloresCasa Barragán. Image © Rodrigo FloresCasa Gilardi / Luis Barragán. Image © Eduardo LuqueCasa Gilardi / Luis Barragán. Image © Eduardo Luque+ 16

On November 22, 1988, one of the most important and revered figures in the history of Mexican and international architecture died in Mexico City. Luis Barragán Morfín, born in Guadalajara and trained as a civil engineer left behind an extensive legacy of published works, conferences, buildings, houses, and gardens that remain relevant to this day. While Barragán was known for his far-reaching research in customs and traditions, above all, the architect spent his life in contemplation. His sensitivity to the world and continued effort to rewrite the mundane has made him a lasting figure in Mexico, and the world.

Undoubtedly, Luis Barragán's legacy represents something so complex and timeless that it continues to inspire and surprise architects across generations. It is because of this that, 30 years after his death, we've compiled this series of testimonies from some of Mexico's most prominent contemporary architects, allowing them to reflect on their favorites of Barragan's works and share just how his work has impacted and inspired theirs. 

Architecture Guide: Luis Barragán

Casa Estudio / Luis Barragán. Image © Rodrigo FloresTorres de Satélite / Mathias Goeritz + Luis Barragán. Image © Rodrigo Flores© Rodrigo FloresCasa Gilardi / Luis Barragán. Image © Eduardo Luque+ 11

A Tribute to the Color of Contemporary Mexican Architecture

© BGP© Javier Callejas© Paco Pérez Arriaga© Leo Espinosa+ 20

Color, inherited from indigenous cultures of Mexico, is a defining characteristic of Mexican architecture. Vibrant colors have been used by architects and artists such as Luis Barragán, Ricardo Legorreta, Mathias Goeritz, Juan O'Gorman, and Mario Pani.

Color in Mexican architecture has reinforced the identity of different regions and areas within the country. For example, it is almost impossible to think of San Miguel de Allende or Guanajuato without the facade colors that weave the landscape.

How Luis Barragán Used Light to Make Us See Color

In Luis Barragán’s poetic imagination color plays as significant a role as dimension or space. Rough textures and water reflections heighten the impact of bright sunlight in his colorful buildings. But where does such vibrancy come from and how is it heightened by the architecture itself?

© 2018 Barragan Foundation, Switzerland/SOMAAP; Fred Sandback Archive© 2018 Barragan Foundation, Switzerland/SOMAAP; Fred Sandback Archive© 2018 Barragan Foundation, Switzerland/SOMAAP; Fred Sandback Archive© 2018 Barragan Foundation, Switzerland/SOMAAP; Fred Sandback Archive+ 6

8 Architects Whose Names Became Architectural Styles

Throughout history, there have been certain architects whose unique ideas and innovative styles have influenced generations to come. Some of these pioneers introduced ideas so revolutionary that entirely new words had to be invented to truly encapsulate them. Whether they became a style embraced by an entire era, or captured the imagination of millions for decades to come, we know a Gaudiesque or Corbusian building when we see one.

Here are eight adjectives derived from the works of architects whose names are now in the dictionary:

Ronchamp by Le Corbusier. Image via <a href='http://maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com/Ronchamp-Snow-Chapel-Notre-dame-You-Skin-De-Ronchamp-372579'>Maxpixel</a>Farnsworth House by Mies Van Der Rohe. Image © Jack E. Boucher <a href='http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/il0323/'>via the Library of Congress</a> (public domain)Fuente de los Amantes by Luis Barragan. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/esparta/3573608700'>Flickr user esparta</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en'>CC BY 2.0</a>Trinity Church, Boston by Henry Hobson Richardson. Image © Carol M. Highsmith <a href='http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/highsm.12234/'>via the Library of Congress</a> (public domain)+ 9

7 Abandoned and Deteriorating Latin American Architectural Classics

How many lives does a great work of architecture have? The first begins when it is built and inhabited, judged based on the quality of life it provides for its residents. The second comes generations later when it becomes historically significant and perhaps its original function no longer suits the demands of society. The value of such buildings is that they inform us about the past and for that reason their conservation is necessary.

However, in Latin America, there are countless cases of buildings of great architectural value that are in tragic states of neglect and deterioration. Seven such examples are:

Are Luis Barragán's Ashes More Important Than His Life's Work?

In a somewhat poetic proposal, Jill Magid, the American artist, offered Federica Zano, owner and archivist of the Barragan Foundation in Switzerland, a two-carat diamond ring made from ashes from Barragan’s cremation, in exchange for returning Barragan’s professional archive to Mexico.

This gesture was the pinnacle of an art project that “posed fundamental questions about the consequences and implications of converting cultural legacy into private corporate property.” Magid’s work, titled “A Letter Always Arrives at its Destination,” held an exhibition at the University Museum of Contemporary Art at the UNAM.