The House of Architect Luis Barragán is a Classic of Mexican Modernism

Mexico home

Marie Elena Martinez, The Guardian, November 6, 2015

Examples of Luis Barragán’s colourful style, often described as “emotional architecture”, are scattered across Mexico City. In one modest street lies Casa Ortega, which marked the climax of his experiments with functionalism and anticipates his masterpiece, the 1948 Casa Luis Barragán, the ultimate synthesis of traditional and modern.

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The latter was Barragán’s home for 40 years until he died in 1988, and everything in it has been left untouched: the books crammed on to a wall of shelves, original china in kitchen cabinets, a wastepaper bin in the hallway, and his dusty Cadillac still in the garage. The rooms burst with light and colour and are decorated with leather chairs and animal-skin lamps, and the attached studio frequently hosts artists in residence.

I always take time to ponder in the garden, a beautiful, semi-organised wilderness sculpted by Barragán himself. Visits are by appointment, and staff can also arrange trips to other Barragán gems, such as the bright pink 1977 Casa Gilardi, which he designed when he was 75, and is even more playful.


A visitor descends a staircase on a tour of architect Luis Barragan’s home in Mexico City.

A visitor takes a tour of Barragán’s home. Photograph: Jose Luis Magana/AP

Calle General Francisco Ramírez 12-14,, entry around £8. The updated Wallpaper* City Guide to Mexico City is available now, £6.95

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This article was written by Marie Elena Martinez from The Guardian and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.