Barragán, Luis

Barragán, Luis, 1902–88, Mexican architect. Trained as an engineer, he traveled in France and Spain in the 1920s, and in France again in the early 30s when he met and was influenced by Le Corbusier. In 1927 he set up an architectural office in Guadalajara, moving it to Mexico City in 1936. Barragán's work, all of which is in Mexico, mingles the quintessentially Mexican with characteristically geometric elements of modernist architecture and shapes derived from nature. Concentrating on residential buildings and gardens, he typically created vast walls of concrete, adobe, or stucco that meet in sharp angles; his walls are sometimes cut by rows of arches and often feature still or flowing water. His colors also reflect his homeland, with walls and other features in contrasting colors such as turquoise, pink, yellow, cerulian blue, and bright orange or in subtle earthtones. Among his best-known works are the El Pedregal subdivision, Mexico City (1943–52) and the Capuchin chapel and convent, Tlalpan (1952–53). His home in Mexico City is now a museum and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Barragán received the Pritzker Prize in 1980.

See J. M. B. Julbez and J. Palomar, The Life and Work of Luis Barragán (1997); R. Burri, Luis Barragán (2000); R. Rispa, ed., Barragan: The Complete Works (2003); D. Pauly, Barragán Space and Shadow, Walls and Colour (2008).

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