I was introduced to the work of Mexican architect and engineer Luis Barragan by a Mexican client of mine because of the love I have for architecture and design. Once again, my international travels have opened my mind and exposed me to areas I would have not encountered if it wasn’t for my travels.
Luis Barragan is the only Mexican architect to win the Pritzker prize and once you visit Casa Gilardi you can understand why he was chosen. Casa Gilardi is his last work before his death and it is a treasure for anyone interested in architecture and design.
The use of light, color and nature in Casa Gilardi is outstanding. It is currently run by the University of Guadalajara, so you must make a reservation in advance to see it. I used a destination management company called EPIC to secure my ticket. Suzanne the General Manager is very knowledgeable regarding cultural events in Mexico City.
Once you enter, you are in a waiting area which is typical of Barragan’s architecture before you head to the main entrance where you see a series of steps with no railing that take you up to the living room and studio. Each room has a stunning view of the terrace with a large tree in the middle where the casa was built around. Once you take the series of steps down you encounter a hallway with yellow stained glass that gives the white room a yellow hue and then you are led to the stunning indoor pool. The pool is accented in colors of blue and pink. The blue extends the sky and the pink is one of the prominent colors of Mexican candy.
The reflection of light onto the pool is astounding and changes with the time of day. From the pool you can go out into the terrace where you see the large tree that the casa has been built around. The terrace is multi-level and each angle provides a different view depending on the light and the reflection of light off the house and colors used.
My visit to the Casa Gilardi was breathtaking and so much more than I expected. It showed me how Luis Barragan used light& color to achieve so many different angles.