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GA Document 48

GA Document 48

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This publication illustrates two private houses designed by the Mexican architect Luis Barragan. Twenty years separate the creation of one from the beginning of the other. The first was built by Barragan for himself; the second for friends who, to entice him into accepting the commission, gave him carte blanche and suggested he consider their house as if it were his.
Barragan's own house, built in 1947 in the Tacubaya neighborhood of Mexico City is at once garden and house, inextricably bound together. The house sits in a neighborhood of working people. By its purposeful modesty the house joins rank with the surrounding houses. Its facade is almost blank except for entrances and a large window, placed high above the normal sightline so that only the sky can be seen from the inside.
The house represents a subtle elaboration of that part of Mexico's architectural tradition Barragan loves most: its ranches, villages, and convents. The house is pervaded by a deep feeling of serenity. Barragan has said of this house that it is his refuge "...an emotional piece of architecture, not a cold piece of convenience".
Physically, the house is divided into two levels with a vast double height living room space, modulated and articulated by low walls which do not reach the ceiling. These partitions create carefully elaborated areas of mellow shadows and zones of diffused light. The ceiling plane, hovering high above the living area, is composed of closely spaced beams which emphasize its horizontal weight.
A very graceful stairway of cantilevered pine boards leads to a door in the mezzanine, which is always kept closed. Although of very robust construction this stairway appears dainty to the observer. When the stairway is seen leading to the mysterious mezzanine space which lays behind the closed door one has the feeling that only a weightless being could ascend it.

Формат: 25,5 см х 36,5 см.
Revised edition.