Leading the line of architects from Mexico, Luis Barragan is a Pritzker prize-winning architect with a unique outlook towards the design of buildings and the spaces in between them. Keeping in track with modern contemporary principles, Barragan imagined spaces and designs full of emotions letting out roars and voices rather than the functional aspects considered back then. This approach was often mistaken by the publishers and fellow architects as a minimalist follower, while the usage of striking colors and immersion of light and landscape in his works contradicted the critic. His philosophies and projects are often backed up with complete research of culture, traditions, and local materials in their rough and raw form. Most of his works are within Mexico, here are a few of his well-acclaimed works that express the concepts regarding the critical regionalism of this sovereign mastermind in architecture.
1. Casa Barragan by Luis Barragan
In the working-class neighborhood of Tacubaya, this building holding the architects’ residency and design studios played a vital role in the conservation of the surrounding culture. It also pivoted the direction of development in the area. Its extreme use of raw materials to the inhibition of the colors of Mexican architecture like yellow and pink make this a global yet local prodigy. Now declared as a UNESCO heritage site, the décor and detailing of the interiors along with the play of light and shadow creates a magical aura.
Marking the sparkling future of a new district, Ciudad Satelite, this sculptural marvel was designed in collaboration with painter Jesus Rayes Ferreira and sculptor Mathias Goeritz. With five isosceles pyramids in a central avenue painted in the three prime colors of red, blue, and yellow are accompanied by two neutral white icons. The cranky texture on the concrete created by the wooden frames during construction makes it a blend of art and architecture.
3. Casa Gilardi by Luis Barragan
This house, being the last of Barragan’s career, was designed just like his house, enhancing the facades and adding natural elements like light and water. The dark bold Mexican hues bring out the cultural respect the architect had for his works. This displays everything that Baraggan liked; brick, stucco, and Onix glass shades. Built around an existing tree and heavily influenced by painters, this might be the most colorful of all his works, with blue, pink, yellow, blue and what not!
4. Casa Cristo
This house designed for the mayor was a combination of the Mexican and Spanish architectural styles with bold raw details and parabolic arches. Currently functioning as the official quarters of the Colegio de Arquitectos of Jalisco, it has preserved crafts of local workers and excerpts from Moorish influence in the tiles and pillars.
5. Cuadra san Cristobal
The spaces of this project are all about regional symbolism through emotions, geometric abstracts, and calculative movements. With a residence quarter of Egerstrom, the stables Cuadra san Cristobal and the fountain, this property is one of his notable works, with everything falling in harmony. From the measure of the pond depth concerning the digestion canal of a horse brings out the detail to which the architect explores to come out with such marvels in the field. The massive horizontal walls with smaller openings and the clever use of yellow and pink make it a pleasure to walk through.
6. Chapel of the Capuchinas by Luis Barragan
Everything from calmness to serenity to charm to solace to spirituality is all found in this chapel designed by Barragan. Putting his soul into the work, the yellow prayer hall wall across the black stone-walled pond surrounded by a white massive wall, altogether made the whole premise very similar to a part of the heavens mentioned in the bible. Be it the huge cross inscribed into the wall, the perpendicularly placed floating bench or the light peeping through the small windows, the tiniest of the details is what makes this place unique.
7. Casa Iteso Clavigero
One among the many houses done in the district of Guadalajara, the house is now converted into a cultural center of a notable university. Built during the start of his career, the Mexican regionalist features mixed with a little of the Arabian details are quite visible in the building. The yellow hue, wide arches, and raw tectonic material display give it the local yet exquisite touch. The gardens and courts are as beautiful as the residence, a perfect example of how the architect blended nature into the creations.
8. Gálvez House
This project slips a little beyond modernism, bringing in clean finishes with the Mexican hues, a new experiment undertaken by the architect. He considered creating poetic conversations between spaces, the adjoining streets, and the elements that surround. Though the concept sounded vague, the result was an incredible piece of art adding another feather into his cap. The stucco walls painted with colors of pink, yellow and white along with glass openings and wooden or gravel flooring made up the material palette of the product.
Painted vividly in a pastel color palette, with small doors and windows in ratio to the walls, and ceasing the outrage into peace, this house spreads an exquisite aura. Built on the volcanic rock expansion of pedregal, he considered home to be much more than a sacred place and very much less than a museum. The restoration of the same with Cervantes has regained the essence that the architects meant to convey in the actual sense.
10. Los Jardines del Pedregal by Luis Barragan
With curved streets flowered by jacaranda and bougainvillea trees and explicit sloping contours over the cranks of the volcanic rock, this design of a residential neighborhood erases the line between the built and unbuilt. With the high walled fences and facades, the casas and mansions are masked to show what’s needed and what’s not. The plaza with interesting sculptures and the modern gardens across the streets made the settlement a model to the rest of the nation.