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A tour of the Mexican modernist architect Luis Barragán’s house and studio reveals a surprise with a touch of the divine.
The late Luis Barragan also constructed a studio on the property.
MEXICO CITY – In a working-class neighborhood of Mexico City, two concrete buildings hidden near the end of a cul de sac draw visitors from around the world.
They are the home and studio of Luis Barragan, one of Mexico’s most influential architects, who lived and worked there for four decades.
The complex, called Casa Luis Barragan, features a clean, minimalist style, accented by Mexican elements, with high walls, natural light and splashes of color creating magical spaces.
Built in 1948, it became a museum after Barragan’s death in 1988 and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2004. Tour reservations for the complex must be made weeks in advance. Most tours are in Spanish, but there are some in English. Those who arrive without reservations are sent away.
Barragan was a modernist who blended the functionalism of Le Corbusier with designs inspired by Mexican traditions and by his travels to places like Morocco. He used natural light to create “transition spaces” separating outside from inside, evoking the serenity of a Mexican courtyard.