John Pawson-the father of
modern architectural minimalism- visited the house of Luis Baragan-the most important 20th
century Mexican architect-in Mexico City and wrote an
article about his visit.I enjoyed reading about the great architect through the eyes of another one.
His article starts with a quote from
house is my refuge, an emotional piece of architecture, not a cold
piece of convenience."
Barragan's home design was indeed focused on the intangible themes
such as sanctuary, surprise and visual comfort. His experimentation
with color and his constant observation between light and color
compositions in 3d spaces while harnessing the energy of the hues and
the tones of the homeland Mexico, was inevitably destined to create
an emotional and spiritual environment.
does an architect reveal more about himself ‚Äì his passions, needs
and philosophy ‚Äì than in the houses which he builds for himself,
where the only check or filter for his ideas is himself‚Äù
John Pawson. Barragan's need to live in solitude was confirmed with
his own words:
in intimate communion with solitude may man find himself‚Äù, he
wrote. ‚ÄúSolitude is good company and my architecture is not for
those who fear or shun it."
passion to humanize places shows in the way he used color and light
to create intimate corners.
in 1940's, the house's primary colors reflect Barragan's love for
Mexican aesthetic-terra cottas sunlit yellows, jade, sage, vivid
lilac,violets and roses. He
mystifies the color and makes it memorable. Barragan was inspired
from Josef Albers and his way of exploring color interactions.
Pawson describes Barragan's home: ‚Äúone
has a powerful sense of being cocooned at several layers‚Äô remove
from the world outside. The design encourages you to look out and up,
but through a series of precisely framed views, with nothing visible
beyond the comforting enclosure of green planting and blue sky.‚Äù