Gral. Francisco Ramírez 12, Ampliación Daniel Garza, Amp Daniel Garza, Miguel Hidalgo, 11840 Ciudad de México, CDMX
55 8104 0688
The former residence of one of Mexico’s most important architects, Luis Barragán, is a museum dedicated to his work and where visitors can witness firsthand Barragan’s particular sense of aesthetics. His typical use of bright colors, natural lighting, broad planar forms, and natural materials is clearly defined in this residence, even though it went through multiple modifications during the 40 years that Barragán lived there, as he used his residence as a sort of laboratory for his ideas. The house is located near the area of Tacubaya in Mexico City, the neighborhood is Colonia Ampliación Daniel Garza, the area used to be more desolate when Barragán first purchased the residence in 1948 but has since been engulfed by the urban sprawl of the metropolis. The neighborhood is nowadays a mainly working-class neighborhood.
Luis Barragán was originally from Guadalajara, Jalisco, and began his career in real estate, before being inspired on a trip to Europe to start building houses upon his return to Mexico. He didn’t study architecture but rather taught himself, and was influenced by Mexican architectures and designers that moved away from the French aristocratic designs that fascinated the early century Mexican bourgeois, and adopted bright colors and simple patterns more associated with indigenous art. Natural light was preferred to artificial and elaborate lighting designs. Barragán designed and developed private residences in Mexico and the United States, and also major development projects like Jardines del Pedregal in the southern part of Mexico City and the Torres de Satélite in its northern part. In 1980 he won the Pitzker Prize, considered the “Nobel Prize of architecture” and stopped working shortly after due to Parkinson’s Disease. He died in Casa Barragán in 1988. Some of his students, like Ricardo Legorreta, went on to produce important work of their own, keeping some of Barragan’s visual motifs alive.
Shortly after, the Arquitectura Tapatía Luis Barragán Foundation and the Government of Jalisco (his home state) purchased the residence and turned it into a museum. It’s not as popular as La Casa Azul but it’s a popular destination with architects, students in this discipline, aesthetes, and architecture aficionados around the world. For access to the museum and a tour of the house (which lasts approximately 1 hour), one must make a reservation online beforehand, tickets cost $400 pesos, $300 pesos for Mexican nationals, and $200 pesos for international and national students and professors (provided they show a valid school ID of course). The house is a few steps away from Metro station “Constituyentes” on Línea 7.
Casa Estudio Luis Barragán might not top the popularity charts in Mexico when it comes to museums, but it’s an enjoyable visual experience and a must-visit location for architecture fiends.