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Luis Barragan: The Latest Architecture and News

In Residence: Inside Casa Gilardi, Luis Barragán's Final House Design

12:30 - 3 October, 2016

I want you to let me do all the ideas I still have in my head.

In the latest installment of the In Residence series, NOWNESS visits the last house designed by legendary Mexican architect Luis Barragán, Casa Gilardi. By the time current homeowner Martin Luque and advertising agency partner Pancho Gilardi approached Barragán to ask for a house design in 1975, the architect had already formally retired. He originally declined to take on the project – until he made a visit the site, where he was captivated by a remarkably beautiful jacaranda tree. Changing his mind, Barragán remarked, “Don’t chop down this tree, because the house will be built around it.”

Check out the video to learn the rest of the story behind the masterwork and to see the vibrant house as it stands today.

Jill Magid: The Proposal

14:43 - 11 August, 2016
Jill Magid: The Proposal, Jill Magid, The Proposal, 2016. Photo credit: Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, Stefan Jaeggi. Courtesy the artist, LABOR, Mexico City; RaebervonStenglin, Zurich; Untilthen, Paris.
Jill Magid, The Proposal, 2016. Photo credit: Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, Stefan Jaeggi. Courtesy the artist, LABOR, Mexico City; RaebervonStenglin, Zurich; Untilthen, Paris.

The Proposal presents the climactic moment within artist Jill Magid's extended, multimedia project The Barragán Archives, which examines the legacy of Mexican architect and Pritzker Prize-winner Luis Barragán (1902–1988). The multi-year project poses piercing, radical, and pragmatic questions about the forms of power, public access, and copyright that construct artistic legacy.

Through this work, Magid asks, “What happens to an artist’s legacy when it is owned by a corporation and subject to a country’s laws where none of his architecture exists? Who can access it? Who can’t?”

In his will, Barragán split his archive into two parts. Along with the vast majority

The Mexican Moment: The Rise of Architecture's Latest Design Capital

01:00 - 16 December, 2014
The Mexican Moment: The Rise of Architecture's Latest Design Capital, Museo Soumaya / FR-EE. Image © Rafael Gamo
Museo Soumaya / FR-EE. Image © Rafael Gamo

On a recent trip abroad, architect and urban planner José Castillo was struck by a conversation with Mexico’s tourism attaché in Asia. Mexican tourism, the attaché remarked, has changed; it was the ancient pyramids and sandy beaches of the country that once drew visitors to it. Today however, architecture and design—and food—prevail.

The issue of food may be of little wonder. Mexican cuisine has indeed become more popular than ever in both the high and low ends of the culinary spectrum, and food in general is not only what one eats for dinner but also a hobby and an obsessive conversation topic. Yet for local design to come to the same level of acclaim and reputation is, at any rate, quite astonishing. It may be, though, that food and architecture are not so far apart. These are both highly creative and productive professions, as well as ones with a rich history, a theory, and many layers of tradition.

La Tallera / Frida Escobedo. Image © Rafael Gamo Zeller & Moye and FR-EE's "Archivo". Image Courtesy of Zeller & Moye Foster + Partners and FR-EE's design for the new Mexico City Airport. Image Courtesy of DBOX for Foster + Partners PRODUCTORA's Auditorio Cuernavaca, with the Teopanzolco Pyramid in the background. Image Courtesy of PRODUCTORA + 9

Mexico & Swizterland in Tug-of-War Over Luis Barragán Archive

00:00 - 6 November, 2013
Mexico & Swizterland in Tug-of-War Over Luis Barragán Archive, Gilardi House. Image © Flickr user, Elena_mch
Gilardi House. Image © Flickr user, Elena_mch

Mexico, Switzerland and their constituent art collectors are in a tug-of-war over the coveted professional archive of late, famed hero Luis Barragán - considered one of Mexico's greatest architects. After his death, the heads of the Swiss furniture company, Vitra, bought a collection of Barragán's personal designs and images, leaving those in Mexico puzzled as to why the archive ever left the country from which his work is rooted. "It would be as if the ‘rights’ for Frank Lloyd Wright or Louis Kahn were held and managed from another country, ruling over their work and limiting access to the American public." Read the full article here, "Tug of War Stretches Architect’s Legacy".

Video: Luis Barragán

15:00 - 23 June, 2012

Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, Luis Barragán was a formally trained engineer and self-trained architect. He is known for his emphasis on color, light, shadow, form and texture. In 1980 he received the profession’s highest honor – the Pritzker Prize. This video gives a brief overview of the prominent Mexican architect and his work.