Casa Luis Barragan


Damian’s making me add the image like almost a year later, originally uploaded by valleygirl2005.

The only image: Casa Barragan pop-up card featuring cantilever stairs, with its own little Albers.It was an absolute architectural delight visiting this house and it has made the whole trip worthwhile for me. We were lucky to get in to see this inspiring work of architecture and recommend booking in advance (casabarragan@hotmail.com). There was no photography allowed so please refer to books or the web for images http://www.barragan-foundation.com/ The guide on sale at the house is very good with explanatory text, furnished plans, sections although only B&W photos.Mute from the street, this was Barragán’s own house and studio for 40 years. It is notable not only for the famous cantilevered stair detail that you’d all be familiar with but also his trademark use of colour and light (both natural and artificial), which is enlivened by the controlled sequence of spaces.

It was the rigour applied in the sequencing that I was most impressed by. For example, the entry room off the street is lit by a gold coloured glass window over the door, otherwise dark with a stained timber wall (& seat) and volcanic stone floor. The colour of and subdued quality of light in this room prepares the retina for the next room, the hot pink stair hall. The pink in turn is followed by the deep green of the tropical garden viewed through the back windows of the dinning or lounge rooms.

Fully furnished as it was lived in, the house also exhibits his exquisite collection of religious/devotional and modern artworks, including a number by Josef Albers. Louise was also interested in the way his religious beliefs affected the number of doors in a room!

– Damian

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