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Luis Barragán: The Latest Architecture and News

From Borderlines to Blurred Boundaries: San Diego-Tijuana as the World Design Capital 2024

When drawing, lines are fundamental elements of composition. They delineate space, outline structures, and define boundaries. When it comes to maps and borders, the line acquires a particular meaning, as this "simple" graphic expression marks a powerful division between regions, setting the beginning or the end of a territory. This line has a profound meaning at the limit between Mexico and the United States, where it constantly blurs and questions the border. In these places, multiculturalism is a daily occurrence, with a continuous negotiation of boundaries present in all aspects of life. The dynamic of these borders involves design and the generation of a complex network of interactions and collaborations.

Rather than being divided into Tijuanenses on one side and San Diegans on the other, this particular region stands out as a community whose essence harmonizes with a deep legacy of cross-border collaboration, rather than being seen as cities separated by a line. As the first binational designation in the history of the World Design Capital (WDC) program, the Tijuana-San Diego region shares a common interest in addressing urban, social, and economic issues through design. Thus, via conferences, policy summits, and workshops, the region seeks to enhance the catalyzation of ideas through its designation.

2023's AD Classics: Year in Review

Architecture Classics showcased on ArchDaily serve as essential archives of architectural marvels, offering a window into the past. These classics showcase our collective design wisdom and innovation globally, enriching our design knowledge. In fact, through the acknowledgment and appreciation of different styles, functions, and narratives embedded within these structures, our view of architecture and its impact worldwide can become more comprehensive.

Within ArchDaily’s extensive list of Architectural Classics, 2023 saw the exploration of 16 diverse typologies. From public landmarks like Mies Van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion to the Julio Mario Sant Domingo Cultural Center and the Biblioteca El Tintal by Bermùdez Arquitectos, showcasing the power of public infrastructure. Structures such as Mariano Moreno’s National Library and Oscar Niemeyer’s Aeronautics Center highlight the eclectic nature of these classics.

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AD Classics: Ortega Garden House / Luis Barragán

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Mexico City, Mexico

Architecture Classics: Gilardi House / Luis Barragán

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The great architect Luis Barragán, at 80 years of age, and after almost 10 years of inactivity, carried out his last work on a plot of land measuring 10x36 meters, between party walls in Mexico City. A work that reflects the influence of Mexican culture and painters Diego Rivera and Frida Kalho, where the most interesting thing, according to Barragán, was the challenge of the enormous jacaranda tree that had to be maintained, and the pool requested by the owner as part of the program.

The small pink house, which closes towards the street, reinforcing its interiority, is ordered on the longitudinal axis of the plot. Towards the back, the house is divided into two; the front volume, which contains the services and bedrooms, and the back, where the living room, dining room, and pool are located. These two volumes are joined by a corridor, forming a patio that surrounds the Jacaranda tree.

Architecture Classics: Casa-Estudio Luis Barragán / Luis Barragán

Built in 1948, this Mexican modern house, designed by Luis Barragán, is recognized for its international significance. The house-studio, inhabited by the architect himself until 1988, incorporates principles of the vernacular architecture of the region in its design, including the use of striking colors. Barragán has been one of the most influential Mexican architects, and his house is one of the most visited places in Mexico City.

Sketches, Perspectives, Notes, and Drawings by Luis Barragán that Reveal Processes in His Work

Two years ago, as part of an initiative by the Barragan Foundation, the launch of the institution's renewed website was announced via its Instagram account. This represented an effort to compile all the information that exists so far from the Barragán Archive that enriches the study of his career, opening up the panorama to understand his trajectory and evolution from a clear chronology, experiments, and collaborations, as well as unrealized or demolished projects. The website compiles these five decades of career, presenting a list of 170 works inside and outside the country that is updated as more material is researched and collected.

Explore Some of Luis Barragan's Unbuilt and Little-Known Projects 121 Years After His Birth

March 9 marks the birthday of one of the most important Mexican architects worldwide. A pioneer of the Modern Movement in Mexico whose work has transcended geographical limits to be studied by different generations of architects who have rewritten his teaching to make it their own. Every year, this date represents the perfect excuse to rethink Barragan's legacy to architecture not only in Mexico but also in the world, and different projects have been carried out with this intention, awakening the interest of new generations. However, until a few years ago, the record of the architect's work was not very accessible since more than 50% of the projects he built remained anonymous due to the lack of a proper archive of his work.

Classics and Good Architecture: Modern Housing on the American Continent 1930-1960

Much of the production of modern architecture on the American continent was based on the model of European architects who, with their works, projected the fundamental premises and ideas for modern living. These pillars of architecture were transferred and consequently adapted to the American territory, introducing, at the same time, their own characteristics according to the territorial, socio-cultural and economic context. 

We understand that good architecture is that which serves as a model for solving problems inherent to the discipline of architecture in general. This is why certain references that we consider today as "classics" are examples of good architectural practices that have been appropriated by other architects, taking the pertinent and necessary elements to achieve a result in accordance with the particular context. 

A Virtual Tour of Luis Barragan's Unbuilt House in Houston Texas

In 1984, the Menil Museum in Houston, Texas, commissioned the Mexican architect Luis Barragan to build a 3,000-square feet guest house to be located across the street from the famous Rothko Chapel. The architect came back with a design for a dazzling purple, pink, and orange 8,000-square feet mansion that looked to be more at home in Mexico City than a Houston residential suburban lot. So, due to the ensuing conflict between client and architect, the house would never get built, only displayed as an exhibition within the Menil’s galleries.

Re-evaluating Critical Regionalism: An Architecture of the Place

In his 1983 now-classic essay Towards a Critical Regionalism, Six Points of an Architecture of Resistance, Kenneth Frampton discussed an alternative approach to architecture, one defined by climate, topography and tectonics, as a form of resistance to the placeness of Modern Architecture and the gratuitous ornamentation of Postmodernism. An architectural attitude, Critical Regionalism proposed an architecture that would embrace global influences while firmly rooted in its context. The following explores the value and contribution of Frampton’s ideas for contemporary architecture.

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LGBTQIA+ Architecture: 10 Professionals From the Global South

How many LGBTQIA+ architects do you know? Surely you went to school with someone but probably never heard a professor mention one of them. Bringing up these names is key to understanding the fundamental role this population plays in the field of architectural theory and practice. This reveals their experiences more clearly, how they incorporate their identities into design and debates about architecture and urban planning. This is key for any person who identifies as LGBTQIA+ to feel comfortable expressing their individuality and their abilities in the profession.

Enough with Copenhagen! It is Time for U.S. Cities to Learn From Models Closer to Home

Juan Miró, co-founder of Miró Rivera Architects reflects in an opinion piece on the value of American cities. Stating that "when we idealize cities like Copenhagen, we risk losing focus of the fundamental historical differences between the urban trajectories of European and American cities", the architect and educator draws a timeline of events and urban transformations, in order to explain why it would be more relevant to look on the inside when planning U.S cities, rather than taking examples from the outside.

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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.

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

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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.