Luis Barragan (1902 – 1988), described on Wikipedia as the most important 20th century Mexican architect, was self taught although he did attend some lectures by Le Corbusier. His house and attached studio (built 1948) are located in a rather dubious feeling suburb close to a busy multi-lane road on the west side of Mexico City. So not the most appealing of locations. I had thought I might visit on my second day in town but found that one needed to make an appointment. I emailed on Friday and was invited to come along at 10.30am on the Monday morning. When I arrived there was some confusion and I was left cooling my heels in the entrance until I was rescued by man just finishing a Japanese tour, who then gave me a lovely personal tour in English.
Photographs are not allowed in the house (you can see some on the website though: http://casaluisbarragan.org/). It has a lot of white walls, wood and outbreaks of vibrant wall colour. The guide used the word ‘monastic’ to describe the calm contemplative feeling the house gives and I agree. Although there are windows onto the street, they mainly are to give light; the windows intended for views all look out into a lush jungle-like back garden. The furniture is very simple and includes some nice angular pieces the architect designed himself. There are also some brown hairy armchairs of no artistic merit that I could detect. But I suppose even modern architects must want a comfy place to sit whilst listening to their gramophone (there appeared to be one in each room).
The Lego model actually only shows the facade of the house – I didn’t have enough clear bricks to do the studio as well.