Most minimalistic architects do not use bright colors in their work. Right? Wrong! At least if we’re talking about Luis Barragán.
The legendary Mexican modernist architect was hugely influenced also by the Moroccan aesthetics, therefore bringing to his legacy vibrant colors and vibes.
I confess stumbling on Luis Barragán’s work just recently. I also confess opening a discreet side-smile followed by having an oh-so-this-is-how-you-do-intense-minimalism thought.
Although I am an absolute enthusiast of the Japanese and Scandinavian muted color pallets, it really stoked me to contemplate the so many different nuances of what one can consider minimalism.
Barragán won the Pritzker Prize, the highest award in architecture, in 1980 and his personal home, the Luis Barragán House and Studio, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004. So shame on me for only having found about his stunning work now.
Born in Guadalajara to wealthy parents, he traveled through France and Spain, The United States and Morocco, and while visiting Le Corbusier, became influenced by European modernism. The typical clean lines are there, but so are the striking vibrant traditional Mexican colors.
According to Barragan, the house should not be “a machine for living”. He worked for an “emotional architecture” claiming that “any work of architecture which does not express serenity is a mistake.”
Luis Barragán mostly used raw materials such as stone or wood. He combined them with an original and dramatic use of light, both natural and artificial; his preference for hidden light sources gives his interiors a particularly subtle and lyrical atmosphere.
The ideal space must contain elements of magic, serenity, sorcery and mystery.Luis Barragán.
My house is my refuge, an emotional piece of architecture, not a cold piece of convenience.Luis Barragán.
Harper Bazaar shot a gorgeous editorial at Luis Barragán’s San Cristóbal ranch in Mexico City:
Beauty is the oracle that speaks to us all.Luis Barragán
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