January 18, 2013
bedroom angora
Casa Luis Barragán, designed by Luis Barragán, 1947 (source)
East Hampton Residence, designed by Rafael de Cárdenas/Architecture at Large (source)


Casa Luis Barragán occupies a nondescript facade along a dead-end street in the neighborhood of Tacubaya in Mexico City, easy to miss among the other walled compounds that typify the city’s residences. Throughout the house, each main space is accessed from a small vestibular space, concealed by a door or a change in orientation, creating a procedural dissociation from the outside world. The entry sequence creates an experiential compression that releases the occupant into the larger rooms feeling as though the journey seemed longer than it actually was. This passage is reinforced with the transition from darkness into light, an appropriately Catholic ritual. Once fully inside, the house provides spaces for study and contemplation, with outdoor glimpses helping to envelope the interior. The garden, though accessible, is overgrown and obscurant, serving to fill west-facing windows with green, sealing the view. The rooftop walls are extended in height to force the view up, with the sky acting as a conceptual ceiling to the space. Barragán’s house is a zone of pure privacy, immaculately fashioned to provide him with… more


Following a period that emphasized the affect of architectural exteriors, Rafael de Cárdenas is turning inward to create spatial identities.


By unifying the arts through merging interior design, product design and architecture, he assembles spaces that speak like people—at times quietly and sometimes loudly, giving rise to varied expression. They break from the limits of the discipline, exploring a different side of functionalism, one that seeks efficient communication, through belonging—introducing a new element to an existing stylistic stream.


These interiors—while not architectural in the structural sense—manipulate finishes, furnishings, hardware and so on to build spaces with unconventional atmospheres, based on familiar motifs, which loosely allude to an array of narratives. For example, in an East Hampton domestic interior of de Cárdenas’ design, the retro details paired with a softness reminiscent of angora, creates a space Ed Wood might fit right into.


Jack Murphy



Erandi de Silva


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