Casa Luis Barragán is a living museum. It holds the architect’s personal artifacts intact throughout the entire house, creating a sense of inhabitation long after his passing. The main reason for this is Barragán’s housekeeper still lives in the caretaker suite, cooking in the kitchen and maintaining the home, which creates a unique and visceral experience, unlike other museum settings. The house is situated in a residential area, removed from tourist zones, making the journey feel like a pilgrimage. Although the focus is on the architecture, which is both lively and subdued, there are many other elements that are engaging and alluring about the house. I recommend this ‘museum’ because of its immersive nature, it reveals a different side of Mexican culture that would be otherwise difficult to see or experience unless you had a personal connection to someone in the city.
- Book your tickets online and in advance. I booked mine a month in advance.
- There are tours in English, but they are once a day at noon and will book up quickly.
- If you want to take photos you have to pay for a photo pass, it is 500 pesos. Bring cash.
- If you arrive early, there is a lovely garden across the street where you can explore and relax.
- There is a small bookstore at the end of the tour, you can use your card to pay. However, I would have cash on hand in case the card terminal is acting up.
- Transportation: Uber is the easiest, but there is a metro station about 10-15 min walk away.
- Do a bit of research before you go, your experience will be much richer. See additional links below.
The tour of the house feels like a procession. Each room is intentional and expressive of Barragán’s nature. Once you go through the front door you feel like you are transported into the serene, the light dims, noises are muted, and calm floods over you. It is a beautiful and purposeful technique to create a separation of public and private realms, allowing you a moment to gather yourself before you head into the main part of the house. The entry room is bright with natural light pouring in from the skylight, while the bright pink walls add a liveliness to the room. This duality of calm and lively can be found throughout the house, in the rooms, hallways, gardens, and even in the placement of objects. Barragán was curating an experience in every detail. So, while you are planning your trip to Mexico City I would highly recommend finding time in your itinerary for this experience. It is something that sticks with you well after you have left.
Explore the Surrounding Neighbourhood
I highly recommend exploring the surrounding neighbourhood, San Miguel Chapultepec, afterwards. This area links to Tacubaya in the south and La Condesa to the northeast. If you walk down to the main road, there is a market across the street with an array food of stalls to refuel at. Afterwards, we walked back to La Condesa zig-zagging through the residential areas. Along the way, there were cantinas, shops, street art, art galleries, and beautiful homes. It was a great place to glimpse everyday life in Mexico City. Along the way, we stumbled upon a delicious restaurant, Cancino San Miguel, nestled in a courtyard off the main road. This restaurant is also across the street from the contemporary art gallery Kurimanzutto.