Everything to do in one of the Americas' oldest cities.
Originally Appeared on Condé Nast Traveler
Zoom out. What’s this place all about?
This museum, the former home and studio of Pritzker-Prize-winning architect Luis Barragán, is frequented by architecture and design lovers. From the street, you'd never guess the personality that lies inside: The stark-gray façade humbly blends in with neighboring homes, but walk to the interior of the estate and you'll find striking walls in a kaleidoscope of bright colors, fountains, and pools. Visits to the museum are by reservation only and always accompanied by a guide. There are a limited number of visitors per day and children under 10 are not permitted.
A museum's permanent collection is its defining feature: How was this one?
The house, located in the Hidalgo District of Mexico City, has been kept just as it was when Luis Barragán lived there, until his death in 1988. Visitors come to see his expertise in design, architecture, and color play.
And how were the exhibits?
There are occasional non-permanent exhibitions relating to architecture and design.
On the practical tip, how were facilities?
Don't worry, your guide won't let you get lost. In fact, he or she will be quite helpful in explaining Barragán's genius use of color, light, shadow, form, and texture as you walk around the estate.
Any guided tours worth trying?
The mandatory guided tour costs MXN$400 (approximately $20), which is more expensive than most museums in Mexico City. That said, the small-group setting ensures deeper insight into the architect and his work (also, no crowds). Request an English tour if your Spanish is limited.
Gift shop: obligatory, inspiring—or skip it?
The bookshop offers interesting books on design and architecture.
Any advice for the time- or attention-challenged?
The tour lasts 45 minutes to an hour, and with all that color and interesting design, it's hard to get bored.
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