12 marzo, 2018
Barragán and the search of beauty
On today’s day back in 1902 in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Ángela Morfín de Barragán gave birth to the third of her children: Luis Ramiro Barragán Morfín. Luis Barragan, as he was better known, would later become one of the 20th century’s most important architects, causing a fundamental influence on the modernity of his native country, Mexico.
With an extraordinary intuition for reaching the living essence of simple things, Luis Barragán went after the pleasure that provokes projecting with beauty. He searched heavily through the spaces of history with the aim of finding what lasts over time. He integrated traditional and vernacular elements with artistic, architectural and philosophical trends from different eras, moving towards modernity but not renouncing to the popular architecture of his homeland. In an age as his in which a development associated with technology was breaking through irrepressibly, Luis Barragán remained calm, walking slowly, unhurried. He knew how to look, how to see, how to feel. He contemplated, because to contemplate is to feel the spirit and to guide ourselves towards self-knowledge. To contemplate is to apprehend through our senses so that we can create with them, in full transformation. But to contemplate is also to feel the emotion and to make the emotion being felt. To contemplate as Barragán did is to go deep inside the human being, to understand what disturbs him, what concerns him, what moves him. But also what makes him feel calm, relax and serene. To understand what makes human being feel closer to silence and loneliness, to the immensity of nature, to the essence of everything that we live. Barragán undertook a trip. A round trip in which there’s always a return. A trip in which one first abandons and then comes back to value what has been abandoned. A trip to the outside that then connects with the interior, a trip, or trips, in search of the ineffable and magical beauty that is so vivid in his architectural works. Barragán founded this beauty in those parts where soul is moved, parts of loneliness, serenity, nostalgia, silence, joy or death, parts of the past, the present or the future, parts of life, vital places.
In short, memory and emotional experience at the service of the creative process. That’s the reason of the light and the water, the reason of the Alhambra with the patios, fountains and gardens, its scent, its sounds and its magic, its light as an architectural matter
That’s the reason of the whitewashed walls of the Mexican popular architecture, and also the Andalusian or the villages of North Africa.
That’s the reason of the ranch of his childhood and the colours of the Mexican tradition.
That’s the reason of the wall, the fence and the grove. That’s the reason of looking to the patio and not to the street.
That’s the reason of the wood, the stone and the olive tree, because nature is there to be lived. That’s reason the house is a garden and the garden is a house. For all this and for what I didn’t know how to tell, Barragán.