Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Luis Barragan

Luis Barragan (1902-1988) was one of Mexico's most influential architects of the 20th Century. Educated as an engineer and self taught as an architect, Barragan was the perfect synthesis of his time. He gave the newly burgeoning International Style a uniquely Mexican perspective. His buildings are renowned for their mastery of space and light, but Barragan was equally influential as a landscape architect and urban planner. Cited as an inspiration by subsequent Pritzker winners such as Tadao Ando, Frank Gehry, and Rem Koolhaas.

In 1980 Luis Barragan was awarded the Pritzker Prize for Architecture. In his acceptance speech he said he found it "alarming" that publications devoted to architecture seemed to have banished the words, "Beauty, Inspiration, Magic, Spellbound, Enchantment, as well as the concepts of Serenity, Silence, Intimacy and Amazement." He apologized for perhaps not having done these concepts complete justice, but said "they have never ceased to be my guiding lights."

In his closing remarks, he spoke of "The Art of Seeing. It is essential to an architect to know how to see: I mean, to see in such a way that the vision is not overpowered by rational analysis."

I think this should apply to everyone, in everything they do - everything they are.

Barragan House, Calle Ramirez, Mexico City


katiedid said...

He is incomparable. What are your thoughts on Legorreta?

HOBAC said...

I think he is also wonderful - but, for me at least, Legorreta is too slick, too commercial. Though saying that, I would still give a kidney to do one of his interiors.

franki durbin said...

Sounds like a remarkable man and an important thinker. I love learning about influential people such as this. Right up my alley.

HOBAC said...

Franki - Awe inspiring, both man and work.

Patricia Gray said...

I totally agree "Seeing is an Art".
It is visual & emotional. We do tend to get caught up in rational analysis instead of just going with the flow.