Rohan Vasa, Writer
Mexico has a deep and complex past that makes its culture one of the most interesting and influential in the world. Its capital, Mexico City, is filled with endless scents and sounds, in part because of the over 22 million people who live in the metro area. Yes, Mexico City is even larger than New York City; it’s the most populous city in North America.
Groups of tall buildings seem to make their way through the vibrant plant life and landscape. Its massive park, Chapultepec, hosts a variety of museums, landmarks, and lovely gardens. Next to the park you’ll find Casa Luis Barragán, a museum dedicated to Mexico’s most renowned architect. Built in 1948, the estate was Barragán’s former home and studio and is open for guided tours. You know the most renowned architect is going to have a pretty interesting personal home. The Barragán house is an interesting introspective on how Barragán lived, and his philosophy behind his most personal home.
Luis Barragán was born in Guadalajara, Mexico in 1902. Barragán studied civil engineering and architecture there until 1925. That’s when the travel bug hit, and he left to see the world. During his time in Europe, he became influenced by modernism and was inspired by the landscape. With this experience under his belt, after two years he returned to Guadalajara and began building residences in his native country.
Barragán created his own style of architecture that was, in many ways, more emotional. After moving to Mexico City, Barragán became renowned for his bright colors, his collaboration with nature, and his dramatic lighting. By his death in 1988, Barragán had created an extensive body of work around the world. He won numerous awards, including the Pritzker Prize, the highest honor in architecture.
UNESCO named Casa Luis Barragán a World Heritage Site in 2004, calling it one of the most influential and representational homes of modern Mexican architecture. It’s the only property in Latin America to receive such an honor. As a result of the property being in the condition it was when he died, the place feels genuine. You can feel the intimacy and beauty with which he surrounded himself.
The tour features historical background on the architect and a walkthrough of the house, studio, and garden. To visit Casa Luis Barragán is to get an intimate look at the culture and times in which he lived.