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“The Art of Seeing. It is essential to an architect to know how to see: I mean, to see in such a way that the vision is not overpowered by rational analysis.” - Luis Barragán













The most prominent aspects of the design of Casa Barragan are the use of flat planes and light, both natural and artificial. The skylights and windows allow for visual tracking of light through out the day; the floods of natural light and views of nature are the key purposes of the windows. Open ing up into the garden, the back of the house creates a visible and physical relationship between the lower level and the backyard. Barragan often called himself a landscape architect because he placed as much emphasis on the exterior and surroundings of a build ing as he did on the interior.

Upon entering, the visitor walks down a dark hallway until they sud denly encounter a pink wall, the first engagement with the known style of Barragan. The only function of this main room is to use the telephone, but it is still charac teristically lit and dec orat ed with simply a chair and a table, neither of which have changed location in the last 50 years. The double height space of the main room is separated only by lower partition walls, which separate the space into different areas. On the roof, a window is ac centuated by the use of wood en girders. The play of privacy and visibility are seen throughout the front and back halves of the house. Towards the front, high windows are used to let light in but maintain privacy, whereas large windows open up the back to the garden.



In the construction of the house Galvez, Barragรกn sought to introduce a modern building in the traditional Mexico, which in turn formed part of the site that would be made with local materials and that would create comfort indoors. The interior corridors and tours of the house are an evocation of the madrassas in northern Africa that permeated both the spirit of Luis Barragรกn while a synthesis between the indigenous and Spanish, modern and tradition, regional and Internationally, the geometric rigor and poetic sensibility, reason and feeling. The spaces are defined by a series of internal passages that connect and break the environments, while multiply them, hiding them in some cases and in others by exposing them to visual perception. These routes are composed of purely architectural elements, which are clearly defined angles of the walls and the plans they create and by the interplay of light with very bright areas and dark semi others are indicating the

degree of intimacy of the rooms. A wall is widely used in this construction is the wall of medium height, not reach the ceiling and intimate areas to share with other more public, as in the attic, an intimate place through the wall does not reach the ceiling allows continuity with other areas. There are other factors that influence the perception of space, such as large windows that view the garden. The soils of both the classroom and outside at the same level, establishing continuity between the interior and exterior. In contrast to the large window to the garden there is another very small window in the wall to the outside and located at high altitude, whose sole purpose is to give a little light and ventilate some part of the house, because Luis Barragรกn protecting privacy in their buildings externally, outside the urban domestic privacy.


Cuadra San Cristobal has the ability to make the outdoors become intertwined with the indoors, not only through the use of glazing, but also through the interplay between light and shade, and the interaction between covered structures and uncovered space—so much so, the two become indistinguishable. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer an invisible portal for sunlight and vistas of the lush and precisely landscaped grounds. The interior offers 2,493-square-meters of space, with four bedrooms and fiveand-a-half bathrooms, as well as living areas, being positioned on the first floor. A two-bedroom, one-bathroom staff quarters, along with a guest apartment also comprised of two bedrooms and one bathroom, offer plenty of space, and a


three bedroom, one bathroom exterior apartment has been placed at the stables. Each space in this linear paradise flows seamlessly and willingly into the next, aided by abstract structures and use of water to connect otherwise separate zones. This use of water as a device for continuity is a masterful way to bring a sense of calm and add an ever-changing texture and life force into the grounds.



The universal message of Luis Barragán capital has answers because, as he said: “... the man has always sought to protect themselves from anxiety and fear. He tried to promote living spaces in your mind the serenity ...” since, as also found by others to explain how generous: “... we have worked [...] in the hope that our work [...] cooperate in the great task of dignifying human life by trails of beauty and help to build a dam against the waves of dehumanization and vulgarity. If, at our work together in achieving some of these concepts do not succeed in solving the problems of man, at least cooperate to make your life fuller, more beautiful and more bearable and help to avoid the despair ... “ Reflected in his works around the baggage of modern concepts and also the dialogue with the environment is fantastic. The colors, textures, compositional elements are a product of Mexican culture. Certainly the influence of painters such as Diego Rivera and Frida Kalho, among others, in his works, but particularly in this house. With respect to the use of colors in an interview said that: “In my

work as architect, the colors and the lights have always been one of fundamental importance. Both are basic elements in creating an architectural space, as they may vary conceptions of it. The walls are made to re-paint. I think that every two years due to all the work to repaint. In this work, Mr Gilardi, colors play an important role. The patio is purple color, very vibrant. The broker prepares the journey through the house to reach a very important area: the dining room with a pool deck. Suddenly, the pond comes a pink wall that cuts off the water and almost reaches the ceiling. The wall gives way to space, he does magic, creates some tension. From the roof a linternilla light bathes the wall, and emphasizes their role. Indeed, the pink color of the wall as the blue surrounding space were taken from a famous painting by Chucho Reyes. It is a rooster, then went magenta and turquoise. “Chucho Reyes had an excellent eye for color.


Deeply religious, the master filled his works with peacefulness and serenity, using a clearly Mexican formal vocabulary, the expressive tectonic nature of the materials, the sublime use of light and an elaborated yet simple treatment of space. However, the production of BarragĂĄn is not very prolific, mainly because for a good period of his life the architect was very selective in accepting his commissions. However in 1953, he gladly accepted the project for the expansion of the cloister and the chapel of the Cap-


uchin sisters. Upon entering, there is a small semi sunken courtyard, with white walls, in one of which a monumental cross is embedded. As a counterpart, a serene pool, in whose waters white flowers float, gives human scale to the space. To the right, a yellow frame lattice accompanies a stairway leading to a secondary chapel. The simple but powerful detail and color of the yellow grid reflecting on the black-stone pond is simply overwhelming. At the other end of the pool is the entrance to the chapel, it’s accessable after a short climb up stone steps. A long single wooden bench seems to float perpendicularly to the wall, but is actually held by invisible metal brackets. Just the color of the wall causes the light to produce shades that suggest feelings of peacefulness.



The work is approached as an experiment: an inseparable union between architecture and sculpture. Barragan and Goeritz working on a conceptual project with huge blind volumes, an aesthetic exercise referred landscape (from the road. This is a sculpture of five blocks hormib贸n, with heights ranging between 30 and 50 meters, seemingly randomly deployed on a concrete slab, hard and devoid of any other element. The primary intention of creating a source soon replaced by erecting vertical elements that constitute a city skyline and could stand out even contemplated from afar and moving. Thus, an island in the middle of the highway, on a sloping hill, oval, besieged by car, is a metaphor for the modern city, but only as an object or symbol and not as an integral concept that territory almost imagined so idyllic by their creators. The urban concept was truncated and only prevailed image. The intrinsic strength of the sculptural composition and avant-garde vision of Barragan and Goeritz managed to remain despite t h e

changes. Prevailed both the majesty of the pieces as their changing nature. The towers are completely hollow and lacking triangular roof buildings. Prisms get their geometry trick as the movement changes its perception; sometimes as regular planes, others like fugal lines to Heaven: as fine as vertices or heavy walls. They have the texture of the concrete formwork knurled every meter, which is achieved by applying the techniques used in the construction of industrial chimneys. This visually increase your height. Mainly known for their intense color. The use of bright colors, and the layout of the towers, texture and scale, integrate it with the cosmopolitan Mexican devotion. Throughout its history, the colors have undergone several modifications. They were originally white, yellow and ocher, according to its creators found inspiration in the towers of San Gimigniano. On the occasion of the Olympic Games were painted with orange .


Michaela Domiลˆรกkovรก Luis Barragรกn FA VUT BRNO VT5 2015/2016

Luis Barragán  
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