This year I got to fulfill a long time dream to visit Casa Barragán , Luis Barragán's home in Mexico City.
As an architecture student, Luis Barragán was my inspiration when it came to understanding the power of color as an essential design tool. Color affects feeling and directly impacts our physical well being.
Casa Barragán, the architect’s own home and studio, is special not just for Barragán’s masterful use of color, but also for how he balanced the complex relationships of space into a cohesive home. Privacy and view, social settings for large dinners are steps away from monastic corners to reflect.
I visited Casa Barragán in March 2016. One thing that immediately struck me was how the house is situated in a busy section of Mexico City. It appears in photos as if it is situated in a serene and secluded rural locale. As one walks through the house today the lush views appear just as they did in 1947. From the street, it appears as a blank wall with a muted yellow entry gate. Behind the yellow gate is a gem of a home. This is the genius of Barragán.
Inside unfolds a symphony of space, view, light, and form. The home flows like a song. A massive double height reading room with a giant picture window facing tall trees and vegetation turn to a cantilevered wood stair that stands as a sculptural element in the room, leading towards a private space where he listened to records.
Architects experience our work through the representation of drawings, models, and photographs. Once it is built and ready to be inhabited, we leave. I thought of this when I saw a mirror globe perched in the corner of many rooms. I hypothesize that it was Barragán’s way of experiencing his design once removed through an abstracted filter of the mirror globe. Inspired, I visited the gift shop and purchased a globe of my own.
Make sure you book your visit in advance! The house is available to visit only during tour times. I saw people get turned away who did not have reservations. And if you go, please tell me what you liked most about it!