Sunday, September 26, 2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010


LUIS BARRAGÁN (1902-1988) was one of Mexico’s most influential 20th century architects. Famed for his mastery of space and light, he reinvented the International Style as a colourful, sensuous genre of Mexican modernism.

Although not quite down-and-out, Luis Barragán (1902-1988) had certainly hit a rough patch when a letter arrived at his Mexico City studio in 1975 asking if the Museum of Modern Art in New York could stage a retrospective of his career.

Then 73, Barragán had built nothing outside his native Mexico, and was virtually forgotten there. He was so hard-up that he occasionally sold letters, sketches and books from his archive to make ends meet. But the beauty and orginality of Barragán's buildings - like the Tlálpan Convent and Torri Satélite in Mexico City - had made him a legend among his fellow architects, and they lobbied hard for his MoMA exhibition. A few years later, Luis Barragán was awarded the Pritzker Prize, architecture's answer to the Nobel.

Barragán is now regarded as one of the most important architects of the 20th century. His buildings are renowned for their mastery of space and light, but Barragán was equally influential as a landscape architect and urban planner. Cited as an inspiration by a succession of other Pritzker winners - from Tadao Ando and Frank Gehry, to Rem Koolhaas - he is one of the handful of architects who succeeded in creating their own version of modernism by imbuing it with the warmth and vibrance of his native Mexico. (Quoted from


Tuesday, September 7, 2010