We ❤ Barragan : Private Architecture Tour 

luis barragan

Starchitect, Luis Barragan, needs NO introduction. You love his work & you want to go deeper. To breathe-in all the quietly brilliant architectural imprints he left on Mexico City. This is your tour!

Accompanied by an articulate specialist architect, a private driver & luxury transport, we take you to Barragan's most prominent private works across Mexico City.  To reveal the textural details of his life, creations and mindset.

You can go geeky & ask highly technical questions. Or you can simply be human, & soak up the inspiration. For anyone who loves design, spatial flow and creativity, this private 8 hour private tour is an epiphany.


"Beauty is the oracle that speaks to us all."

Luis Barragan


Pritzker Prize winner, Luis Barragan, is one of the world's most well-recognized and revered architects.


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This 8 hour private tour highlights Luis Barragan's most inaccessible and representative works in Mexico City


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We take you deep into Barragan's life. The man who elegantly donned English sports jackets, silk shirts, and knitted ties, travelled in a Cadillac, and was known to have his maid prepare entirely pink meals.


Luis Barragan


Barragan's works have, post-humously, become the pin-up girl for many fashionistas,  but this exclusive tour will take you much, much deeper than photo-shoot fantasies.  

luis barragan exclusive tour mexico city

Harpers Bazaar traveled a long way for a Barragan backdrop....

Luis Barragan's few remaining works are spread wide & somewhat elusively across Mexico City. We delight in opening these  private doors and homes so you can savour his unique emotional architectural legacy.


Director of Stylewalk MX, Laura Ainscough, with Martin Luque, Owner of Casa Gilardii  @ Casa Gilardi.

Susan Matheson rave review of architecture tour

Here’s a quick update on today’s tour: Our guide was incredible, he showed us many unusual places, I’ll send photos when I’m back in LA. He is very knowledgeable, but also a lot of fun! He held my hand to ensure my safety while crossing busy streets. We (sic) can’t stop talking about the tour!

Architecture tour client - Susan Matheson, Los Angeles

ABOUT LUIS BARRAGAN

Luis Barragan is the only Mexican architect to have been awarded a Pritzker Prize, the highest acclaim in architecture . He was an elegant, reclusive character, whose love of solitude and respite created a new re-sensitized approach to architecture.


Luis Barragan is the only Mexican architect to have been awarded a Pritzker Prize,  but actually he was trained as an engineer. He never 'formally' studied architecture or landscape architecture. This in itself made him different to other architects and he is claimed to have stated that the only place he felt like a stranger was among architects. 


Not afraid of isolation or solitude, Barragan's works honor, and revere, these human needs. Indeed many people say this is why Barragan spaces feel so embracing and sanctuary-like. They often have a sombre or respectful mood. And there is a usually a division between the private self and the public one. 


rom theEmilio

luis barragan


Though there are Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe influences in Barragan's works, his originality lay in being able to marry international modernism with the Mexican elements of his youth, his parents ranches, and life in provincial Guadalajara.
Below is an extract from the book 'The Architecture of Luis Barragan' by Emilio Ambasz

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luis barragan tour mexico city
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Barragán (above) is often compared to Frank Lloyd Wright (below) for the unique manner in which he integrates buildings into the landscape - as if they were one component. He is more often considered honorably  'beyond classification'.





The Pritzker Prize is the highest award in architecture. In 1980 Luis Barragan won the Pritzer Prize , eight years before his death.


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Barragan's impact on contemporary Mexican  architecture remains strong. We see this most in the use of color as a counterpoint and the humanizing of design elements.
An example of this isThe Serpentine Pavillion  by Frida Escobedo. 

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Our guide (sic) ranks up there with the best tour guides we've ever had in Spain or Italy.
Having had three other tours in Mexico City, he's -- hands down -- the best we've ever had. Why?
We felt that we were seeing special locations … not the typical tourist destinations. At each spot, we were the only people there with a guide. Often, he spoke to security to explain why we were there. Clearly a different experience than the hordes of tourists at the more common tourist destinations.

B Armstrong

YOUR GUIDES ARE WORKING ARCHITECT EXPERTS

The beauty of this tour is that it is private. See only the buildings that you interest you. Go deep into any topic or theme without 'holding up the group'. Take your time to get the right photo. Know that we are maximizing your day in terms of travel and attractions.

Naoki Solano is a Member  of the Architecture Faculty at UNAM.

Naoki Solano has been an Architecture Lecturer for over 5 years, so he is a powerhouse of knowledge regarding Mexican (and international) modernism.   He is a Member of the Architecture Faculty at UNAM - Latin America’s largest university and Mexico City's most prestigious academic icon - so we are blessed to have him be your guide for the Luis Barragan Tour. His Masters in Architecture were carried out in Wales, so Naoki's English is impeccable and he is strong aware of Barragan's significance in the wider world from his research into international modernist styles. 

Naoki has a fabulous array of insider accounts regarding Barragan's socio-political, design, & philisophical themes, and has himself all the traits of a true gentleman. Both which are aspects befitting the important role of portraying Barragan's life story and architectural approach.

PS: Many people ask us: is Naoki Japanese?

The answer is: Naoki was born and bred in Mexico City. Both his parents are Mexican too. Naoki's dad, who is also an Architect, was a world traveller before he had children, so both Naoki and his brother received Japanese names when they were born. He was a global citizan before the term even existed!


"Serenity. Serenity is the great and true antidote against anguish and fear, and today, more than ever, it is the architect’s duty to make of it a permanent guest in the home [sic]
- Luis Barragan -



mexico architecture expert

Juan Ignacio del Cueto is best known for the Felix Candela retrospective he presented at MOMA , New York.


Juan Ignacio del Cueto, who, is a specialist in the History and Restauration of 20C Architecture, is fondly known as DINO by many generations of architecture students, architect visitors and friends. His son, who has the same name, is also known as Dino too! 

Dino (senior) is a very well-respected, indeed prominent, figure in the world of architecture in Mexico City due to his
CAM-SAM award-winning research on the architecture of Spanish exiles in Mexico, which in turn led him to become a world expert on Mexico City-based architect Felix Candela, whose use of tensile concrete hyberbolic-paraboloid shells in the 50s & 60s strongly affected mid-century modern architecture internationally and radically broke engineering ground.  



Dino's 'Shells of Candela'  / 'Los cascarones de Candela'  New York show complimented the Latin America in Construction Architecture  1955-1980 show  at  https://www.moma.org/artists/44763MOMA New York in 2015.  He was also Curator of “Félix Candela 1910-2010,” an exhibition that was featured in Spain, Mexico, and New York from 2010-2012. 

Dino is a member of the National Academy of Architecture in Mexico, and and the Madrid government Assembly. His books Félix Candela 1910-2010 (2010), Candela Guide (2013) y Spanish Architects exiled in Mexico (2014) were finalists in three Latin American Biennales for Arquitecture and Urbanism.

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"Life deprived of beauty is not worthy of being called human.
- Luis Barragan -

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Our guide (sic) ranks up there with the best tour guides we've ever had in Spain or Italy.
Having had three other tours in Mexico City, he's -- hands down -- the best we've ever had. Why?
We felt that we were seeing special locations … not the typical tourist destinations. At each spot, we were the only people there with a guide. Often, he spoke to security to explain why we were there. Clearly a different experience than the hordes of tourists at the more common tourist destinations.

Architecture Tour client - B Armstrong

WE ❤ BARRAGAN TOUR - PRICES 

The beauty of this tour is that it is private.  Go deep into any topic or theme without 'holding up the group'. Take your time to get the right photo. Know that we are maximizing your day in terms of travel and attractions. The price depends on the day of the week you wish to tour.

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8 hour tour (Tues-Sat)


1 -  2pp = US$525
3 - 5pp = US$585
6  -  8pp =US$660

9 - 10pp  = US$690

7 hour tours (Monday or Sunday)


1 -  2pp = US$490
3 - 5pp = US$550
6  -  8pp =US$620

9 - 10pp  = US$650



*Prices are in US dollars & don't include tax.

**We recommend contacting your bank BEFORE trying to book, because overseas banks frequently have a block or high alert for any payments linked to Mexico.

*** You will need to select the add-on of your entrance fees during the checkout process because these are calculated on a per-person basis. i

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architecture in mexico tour

Laura was very responsive during the entire planning process. She hired an architect and driver to lead us on a six hour tour of the contemporary architecture in Mexico City. She inquired about our desires of what to see. It was a wonderful private architecture tour!

TOUR SCHEDULE

We offer this tour every day, but please note the itinerary and duration differs according to the day of the week (due to the opening hours of certain sites)


10 am hotel pick up , 7 days a week

Luis barragan at his house


"I think that the ideal space must contain elements of magic, serenity, sorcery and mystery."


- Luis Barragan -


Susan Matheson rave review of architecture tour

Ramon is incredible, he showed us many unusual places. He is very knowledgeable, but also a lot of fun! He held my arm for safety while crossing busy streets. Polly can’t stop talking about the tour!

Architecture Tour Client - Susan M - LA

THREE ITINERARY OPTIONS 

What will you see on tour? Will we see private access-only buildings? Because many of these are private properties and operate different schedules, it  all depends on the day of the week. Here are your options:

luis barragan corridor

All options include a visit to the private-appointment-only house of Casa Gilardi ( as pictured above) This was. Barragan's last architectural work. It was built after Barragan had already offically been in retirement ten years, and represents his very last grand oeuvre.

BARRAGAN ITINERARY: TUESDAY - SATURDAY 


EIGHT HOUR (Tuesday-Saturday) Itinerary

a.k.a The Gilardi + Capuchinas + Prieto Option

Luis Barragan Mexico City Private Tour

( schedule is approximate)
10:00 - 10:30 Central Hotel Belt - door-to-door pickup/travel to Casa Gilardi
10:30 - 11:30 Arrive at Casa Gilardi (MXN$ 300 per person + MXN$500 per person for photography rights)
11.30 - 12:30 Depart Gilardi
12:30 - 13:30 Visit Capuchinas Chapel (MXN$200 per person) (photography rights are restricted)
13:30     Depart Capuchinas
14:00 - 15:00 Arrive at Casa Prieto Lopez (MXN$800 per person/ photography rights included)

15:00 - 16:00 Lunch: Tetetlan Cultural Center – Contemporary MX dining
16:00  Depart Tetelan.
16:30  Arrival at  UNAM landscaping or Hotel Camino Real  (a large mid-century modern building in which Barragan collaborated with primary architect Ricardo LeGoreta)
17:00 Depart UNAM landscaping or Hotel Camino Real

18:00 Central Hotel Belt door-to-door Drop off

luis barragan

Barragan said to Luque & Gilardi. "Don't chop down this (Jacaranda) tree.. We are going to build the house around it."


 When Barragan stepped out of retirement to accept the Casa Gilardi project, it was to build a house with no restrictions, requests or limitations from the owners.

It was literally an all-expenses-paid, carte blanche.  And his very last masterpiece.

Casa Gilardi is part of every tour itinerary.
7 days a week.

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BARRAGAN ITINERARY: SUNDAYS 


SEVEN HOUR  (Sundays only) Itinerary

a .k.a The SatelliteTowers + Gilardi Option

Luis barragan towers

Sundays only:  ( schedule is approximate)

10:00 - 10:40 Central Hotel Belt - door-to-door pickup/travel to Satelite Towers
10:40 - 11:10 Satelite Towers view (since they are located in the middle of the road there is a short limit time) (public space with no entrance fees/pictures only)
11:10 – 12:00 Depart Towers
12:00 - 13:00 Casa Gilardi Visit(MXN$ 300 per person + MXN$500 per person for photography rights)
13:00  Depart Gilardi
13:30 - 15:00 Lunchtime (options: @el chef, informal, Cansino + ventanita, ex café Zena <masala y maiz,)
15:00  Depart lunch destination
15:30 - 16:00 Visit Barragan  UNAM landscaping (public space with no entrance fee) or Hotel Camino Real  (a large mid-century modern building in which Barragan collaborated with primary architect Ricardo LeGoreta)

16:00 -17:00 Depart UNAM/Park or Hotel Camino Real.
17:00 Central Hotel Belt - door-to-door drop off

mexico city private tours

BARRAGAN ITINERARY: MONDAYS 

 SEVEN HOUR  (Mondays only) Itinerary
a.k.a The Gilardi + Prieto  Option

Luis barragan pedregal private tour


Mondays only  (schedule is approximate)

10:00 - 10:30 Central Hotel Belt - door-to-door pickup /travel to Casa Gilardi

10:30 - 11:30 Private Visit Casa Gilardi (MXN$ 300 per person + MXN$500 per person for photography rights)
11.30  Depart Gilardi
12:30 - 15:00 Lunch and visit at Casa Prieto Lopez  (see photo above) (MXN$800 per person/ photography rights included)//  Tetetlan Cultural Center
15:00 Depart Tetelan
15:30 - 16:00 Visit UNAM landscaping OR Camino Real Hotel (a large mid-century modern building in which Barragan collaborated with primary architect Ricardo LeGoreta)
16:00  Depart UNAM or Camino Real

17:00 Central Hotel Belt - door-to-door, Drop off

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mexico architecture tour

Thanks again for such an amazing experience! We had a blast and everyone is so inspired by the passion and talent of this city!

Architecture Tour Ciient - Serena, Nike World Headquarters - Portland 

LUIS BARRAGAN'S DESIGN FOOTPRINTS

It's a paradox. Many of Luis Barragan's works in Mexico City were long ago demolished due to utter negligence by the State. Now posthumously the limelight is back on Barragan.  And it's shining even brighter.




Fashion houses like Louis Vuitton and Longchamp have centered their marketing campaigns on his houses. James Turrell and Dan Flavin have named him as an artistic muse. And contemporary architects such as Japan’s Tadao Ando and Austria’s Mark Mack implement Barragán’s approach


mexico architecture

​We were interested in mid century and modern architecture. Highly recommend this tour!

Robert F - Vancouver

LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE & BARRAGAN

 Emilio Ambasz of MOMA, New York, described Luis Barragan as is 'one of
the most gifted practitioners in contemporary landscape
architecture'.

"I don't divide architecture, landscape and gardening; to me they are one."
- Luis Barragan -

luis barragan garden


Barragan implemented the color green as a color scheme only via vistas such as gardens and landscaping - as seen here in the dining room of Casa- Estudio Luis Barragan.

(Should you wish to visit the house you will need to book directly. They do not allow private visits)

luis barragan landscaping

Luis Barragan and  Luis Barragán y Alfonso Cuevas Alemán created UNAM's iconic landscaping.


barragan

​This, my second trip to Mexico City, was something of a carbon-copy of my first trip … same hotel, same restaurants, same historic center tour. Ramon, like peeling back the layers of an onion, showed me how much there is to see in Mexico City. I can't wait to return!

Architecture Tour Client - B Armstong

BARRAGAN DESTINATIONS ON OUR LIST

Barragan practiced in Guadalajara for over 10 years. Than he moved to Mexico City, where now a handful of his precious private and public sites have survived. Check out the gems on this tour!

Casa Prieto López & Tetetlán


Casa Prieto is the third house that Barragan ever built and the first one he ever designed for a client.

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luis barragan in san pedregal architecture tour
Luis barragan Prieto


In the 1940s, Barragán purchased a large package of land cheaply from the government. His concept was to create a real-estate development for sale to the public.   The land, San Pedregal ,was at that time literally a desolate petrified lava field, in the middle of nowhere. UNAM and other neighboring developments had not been conceived of, and the area was socially isolated. San Pedregal became the canvas for Barragán and his colleagues to create an an ambitious modernist urbanization project,built around and into the unique existing ecosystem.

Casa Prieto is the third house that Barragan ever built and the first one he ever designed for a client.

We have programmed a lunch stop at Tetetlan, which is a multifunctional cultural space converted from the original Casa Prieto horse stables.  The restaurant is the main attraction, but you can also enjoy their library, store and pop up markets.

The Satelite Towers


Satelite Towers is a visual installation of five towers created for its broad urban horizon. The tallest measures 52 meters and the shortest 30 meters .

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Satélite Towers:
One of the country's first urban sculptures of massive dimensions. 
Mexican architect Luis Barragán, painter Jesús Reyes Ferreira and sculpturer Mathias Goeritz. first collaborated together for its planning in 1957.  It symbolizes the so-called 'Mexican miracle' a moment when in just two decades the country had become top ranking in economic growth.

Casa Gilardi


The famous proposal that seduced Luis Barragan out from 10 years of retirement enabling him to build the 'no-holds-barred' house of his dreams.

luis barragan pritzker prize winner


Completed in 1976, this was the last project that Luis Barragan oversaw in its entirety before his death in 1988.

It was designed to function as both a working studio space to entertain clients, and a bachelor pad for two business associates, back then in their early twenties.
It then became a family home for  one of the men, Martin Luque,  and to this day they still live in it as a family residence.

The primary consideration in the urban context was a handsome, well-established jacaranda tree, to which the whole house became oriented.


Gilardi luis barragan private tour mexico city

Chapel Capuchinas


 Luis Barragan was openly religious, and recreated the sanctuary of a reverent spaces in all his homes. It was no wonder he delighted in designing these nuns a place of faith.


Barragan not only agreed to expand the Chapel and Convent of the Capuchinas Sacramentarias for free, but also to finance part of its construction.
He has noticeably applied his signature architectural styles to this project:  sublime handling of the light and shadow, tectonic use of materials, and a careful study of the use of the space. . 

The order of nuns who live here remain under an oath of silence, so it is an utter privilege to be able to visit their private realm, and one we have worked hard to attain. Therefore we ask that you please be very mindful that this is a place of worship when you visit. We assure you it will be a highlight of your stay!

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The Camino Real Hotel

The Camino Real Hotel, a collaboration between  Ricardo Le Goretta and Luis Barragan, was completed in 1968 and soon became known as a Modernist Mecca

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Against the architecture trends of the time, LeGoretta wanted to build this 500,000 sq. feet hotel so it felt like  'true Mexican culture', one that would would evoke the feeling of a Mexican home and so it was no wonder he collaborated with Barragan to meet this end.
No surprsies then that the hotel interior is shielded from the hustle of major streets on three sides and  has multiple interior patios and gardens that offer privacy and peace for its occupants.

mexico architecture 2019


mexican architecture tour

​A wonderful experience. Extremely knowledgeable and great access! You’re in good hands.

Patrick - Currency Trader - Los Angeles

CASA MAO IN GUADALAJARA

We can't include this house on tour because it's in the city of Guadalajara.  It's a great look-feel for Barragan's style and nicely captured by Helios Films.

famous mexican architects

We were given a private tour of Casa Giladi by architect (sic) Luis Barragon, and got to meet the owners of the house, see their artwork, and learn about their personal experience of commissioning the house, living in it, and their relationship with Barragan.

Architecture client - Andrew - Harvard Uni

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