Luis Barragán, water and colour in architecture

Rarely can we say that an architect’s personal style ends up becoming an art form. Luis Barragán achieved this and that is why we dedicate the October magazine to this master of purity of line and colour.

Luis Barragan Magazine Momocca
Photography: © Wikimedia - Tomjc.55

During his youth he spent long periods of time in the Corrales hacienda (Jalisco, Mexico), this continuous experience in contact with nature, tradition and authenticity would later be reflected in his works of clean and sincere lines. Without superficial ornamentation, believing in the transparency of his work so that anyone who contemplated it could see and feel the same as he did.

Photography: Rodrigo Flores
Do not ask me this building or that. Do not look at what I do. Look at what I saw.
Luis Barragán

In his works one breathes the Mexican essence, visible in his high walls, fountains, and structures of noble proportions. Works far removed from what his contemporary colleagues were doing in styles much closer to brutalist or New York styles.

With Barragán we will not see great skyscrapers, his work is the story of his roots with a single external inspiration from a trip around Europe in 1925 to the most Mediterranean countries. France, Italy, Spain… it was during his visit to the Alhambra in Granada that he drew the key points for using water as an expressive medium.

Photography: Armando Salas Portugal
Photography: Armando Salas Portugal

Along with water, colour could never be absent. The architect used colour to transmit emotions, it was the basis of any of his projects; pinks, reds, yellows, purples, or turquoises in what he defended as a complement to architecture:

The color is a complement of architecture (…). It is also useful to add that touch of magic that needs a place. I use the color, but when I design, I do not think about it. I define commonly when space is built. Then I visit the place constantly at different times of day and begin to 'imagine colored' imagine colors from the craziest and amazing
Luis Barragán

Photography: Armando Salas Portugal

Jay Pritzker refers to Barragán’s work as “a sublime act of poetic imagination” and we can experience this feeling today when contemplating the Gilardi House, the Fountain of the Lovers and even his own home; the Luis Barragán Studio House,

If architecture is considered an art, Luis Barragán made this premise his own and sought to thrill and enchant us with his constructions.

The basis of Barragán’s style can be summed up in the use of water, geometric abstraction, colour and magic. An architecture that moves us with its beauty and the feeling that is reflected in it.

Momocca Design