Architecture

Mexico City

The Luis Barragan Tour

$225.00 USD

per person:

Casa Pedregal - The Luis Barragán Tour Southern Itinerary by TTB
Luis Barragan Tour with TTB
Casa Pedregal - The Luis Barragán Tour Southern Itinerary by TTB
The Luis Barragan Tour Mexico by TTB
Luis Barragan Tour, Architecture Tours Mexico City
Luis Barragan Tour by TTB Casa Gilardi
Tour Luis Barragan Tour Mexico City
Luis Barragan Mathias Goeritz Tour
Luis Barragan Tour TTB
Barragan Tour Casa Pedregal TTB

Duration:

7-8 hours

Departure Time:

9:45 am

Tour Guide:

Licensed Architect

Availability:

Monday through Friday for the Northern itinerary and Tuesday through Friday for the Southern one

Mode of Transportation:

VW Beetle convertible or VW classic Combi bus with a guide & driver

Visited Places:

Northern: Torres de Satélite , Fuente de los Amantes, Cuadra San Cristóbal, El Bebedero and Casa Ortega. Southern: Convento de las Capuchinas, Casa Pedregal (aka Casa Prieto Lopez) and Casa Gilardi.

Description

On our daylong Luis Barragan Tour, guided by a licensed architect, follow in the footsteps of one of Mexico’s most emblematic, but also most intensely-private architects: Luis Barragan. From his childhood and early career in Guadalajara to his move to Mexico City, our Luis Barragan Tour will have you discover this illustrious precursor of Mexican modern architecture through a wide variety of his works in the city, and how light, color, texture, space and even his deep-rooted faith were common denominators in all of his works. A journey into the life and work of the only Mexican Pritzker Prize winner and a master who has left an indelible imprint on his nation’s architecture. Welcome to Luis Barragan’s Mexico City!

More About This Tour

An iconic figure of modern Mexican architecture and one of the fathers of Emotional Architecture, Luis Barragan’s designs reflect a universal view of architecture, successfully combining his native heritage and diverse influences from Europe and Africa. A master of shapes, textures, shadows, and light, he skillfully integrates each of these elements into his own remarkably unique creations. Whether he developed low-income housing, high-end residential projects or even public spaces, the work of Barragan is always characterized by clean, straight lines, textured surfaces and bright, cheerful tones.

The Luis Barragan Tour offers two different itineraries depending on your preferences and which day of the week you choose to travel. Both include exclusive access to private properties and other works Luis Barragán designed in Mexico City.

All Luis Barragan tours are given by licensed architects and available in English, Spanish or French.

1. The Luis Barragan Tour: Northern Itinerary

Sites included: Towers of Satélite, Fountain of the Lovers, Cuadra San Cristóbal, El Bebedero, Casa Ortega and the Ortega gardens and a few functionalist buildings if time allows.

Our first and recommended itinerary of our Luis Barragan Tour will be of approximately 7-8 hours and will explore northern and central Mexico City, starting with the Towers of Satélite (Torres de Satélite), which Barragan designed in collaboration with Mathias Goeritz, an architec/sculptor and close friend in 1957. The Towers of Satélite were Mexico’s first large scale urban sculptures.  From there we will head to “el Fraccionamiento de Los Clubes”, a gated community which houses “La Fuente de Los Amantes” or The Fountain of the Lovers, and La Cuadra San Cristóbal a property housing a horse ranch and stables that Barragan built for the Egerstrom family between the years of 1966 and 1968. We will then make our way to the Paseo de Los Gigantes (The Promenade of The Giants named after its tall eucalyptus trees) to visit the Bebedero (the Through) and its white wall. Once asked why he had built it, Barragan simply replied: “so that the shadows of the nearby trees could rest on it”. You will picnic there before heading back into town to see some of Barragan’s earlier functionalist in the neighborhoods of Cuauhtémoc and San Rafael before heading to finish our tour at Casa Ortega for a visit of the property and its gardens. For those of you who will have opted to visit Casa Barragan (Luis Barragan’s personal house which is now a museum), we will wrap up the day there before dropping you off at the end of the day at your hotel or wherever you will be staying.

 

2. The Luis Barragan Tour: Southern Itinerary

Sites included: Convent of las Capuchinas, Casa Pedregal (aka Casa Prieto López), UNAM stop and Casa Gilardi.

On our southern route, we will explore the south of Mexico City where Barragán undertook a series of projects. First, we will head to the Convent of Las Capuchinas (also known as the Convento de las Capuchinas or the Nasturtiums chapel). It is believed that his strong faith may have influenced him to design and even finance the construction of the convent. From there, we will make our way to University City, UNAM’s main campus to take an up-close look at some of the work of designer Clara Porset’s who often designed furniture for Luis Barragan. We will then take a break to enjoy a healthy snack/picnic on campus, or a lunch at the cafeteria of the School of Architecture. After the lunch break, we will head to Casa Prieto López (1947-1951), also known as Casa Pedregal, designed and built for the Prieto Lopez family between 1947 and 1951 in the residential area of the Pedregal that sit on top of former lava fields. From there we will make our way towards Casa Gilardi built for Francisco Gilardi and Martin Luque in 1976 and Barragan’s last residential before the architect passed away in 1988. Prior to dropping you off at your hotel or wherever you are staying, and if time permits, we drive by La Condesa and Cuauhtémoc neighborhoods to discover some the earlier works Luis Barragan designed during his second stage and which were strongly influenced by functionalism: a series of apartment buildings constructed between 1936 and 1940 and primarily meant to address social and economic needs. Finally, for those of you who will have opted for a visit of Casa Barragan, we will tour the architect’s personal residence which remains exactly as he left it, showcasing personal souvenirs, furniture, books, artwork and more.

 

A suggested read before your tour: Alice Gregory’s New Yorker story on Luis Barragan

For direct access to the story, please visit the New Yorker’s site

Tour Highlights

All Luis Barragan tours are given by professional architects and offer exclusive access to private properties and other works Barragan’s designed. Stops include:

  • Torres de Satélite or Satellite Towers a Barragan/Goeritz/Reyes project (Northern itinerary only)
  • Convent of Las Capuchinas (Southern Itinerary only)
  • Fuente de los Amantes or the Fountain of the Lovers (Northern itinerary only)
  • La Cuadra San Cristóbal a private property with stables (Northern itinerary only)
  • Visit of various residential houses and buildings Barragan designed during his second stage (both itineraries)
  • Casa Ortega and its gardens (northern itinerary only)
  • Casa Gilardi (Southern Itinerary only)
  • Casa Pedregal also known as Casa Prieto Lopez (southern itinerary)
  • Scheduled tour of Luis Barragan’s house and studio (optional)

What does the tour include?

Your Luis Barragan tour includes:

  • Transportation in a VW Beetle convertible or vintage VW Combi bus
  • Your guide (a licensed architect) during the 7-8 hour tour
  • All private property admission fees
  • Photo permit for all locations except Casa Gilardi, and Casa Barragán (when booked)
  • Bottled water
  • Coffee break
  • Hotel pick-up & drop-off (for private tours only). Shared tours pick-up location is at the Hotel Camino Real Polanco
  • Optional picnic meal (available at checkout)

 

Not included in your Luis Barragan tour are:

  • Meals* aside from your snack if you do not opt for our picnic option at checkout
  • Photo permits at Casa Gilardi and Casa Barragán* (optional)
  • Entrance fee to the Casa/Estudio Luis Barragán (optional) and photo permit
  • Hotel pick-ups for shared tours
  • Purchases you may choose to make along the way
  • Gratuities you may choose to give at your discretion

 

* Although our tours focus on private properties and other sites Luis Barragán designed, we offer our guest the possibility of visiting Casa Barragán on an optional basis. Because of time constraints, ticket availability and visiting hours, we cannot guarantee that you will be able to visit the museum on the same day as your tour or that we will be able to secure you access on a very short notice. If your tickets to Casa Barragán are on a different day than your scheduled tour, transportation there and back from the museum is not included.

Who is this tour for?

You will particularly enjoy our Luis Barragan Tour if you work or are interested in the fields of architecture, design, landscaping, urban planning or simply have a strong aesthetics sense. Our Northern and Southern Luis Barragan tours include the architect’s most iconic works in Mexico City.

Rates & Conditions

Rates for The Luis Barragan Tour:

Northern itinerary:

  •   Shared tour: $225.00 per person (no minimum booking requirement, but tours will only be scheduled if 3 or more participants sign up)
  •   Private tour: $285.00 per person (minimum of 2 people)
  •   Solo passenger tour: $495.00 per person

Southern itinerary: Add $35.00 USD per person to the rates listed above.

* Children ages 7-14 pay half-price.

Map & Directions

Book your City Tour now! We only require a small reservation fee.

Full payment by credit card or in cash is only required on the day of your tour.

Reviews

The Luis Barragan Tour, a must do if you're into architecture!

The Luis Barragan Tour, a must do if you're into architecture!

16/10/2018

Based on the recommendation of friends of ours, who had taken this tour before, my partner and I booked The Luis Barragan tour with the Traveling Beetle. On the morning of the tour we were picked up right on time ...

Fantastic Tour of Luis Barragan Sites

Fantastic Tour of Luis Barragan Sites

20/02/2019

We spent the day touring some of the most iconic works by Luis Barragan. (Side note, the day after ...

Luis Barragán Tour (Northern route)

Luis Barragán Tour (Northern route)

12/01/2019

Absolutely stunning, this was the highlight of my trip to Mexico City! Having access to the beautiful private homes was incredible, and the three public parks / artworks that Barragán designed were amazing too. The tour guide was a practicing ...

The best tour of my life, for real

The best tour of my life, for real

04/09/2023

Our guide, Andrés, was fantastic—he gave us a great deal of information—factual and anecdotal-and had great images for us to look at as we drove between locations. And the locations!! He gave us an introduction to each ...

The Luis Barragan Tour Southern Itinerary

The Luis Barragan Tour Southern Itinerary

27/04/2023

This is our second Traveling Beetle tour and both have been excellent. Very knowledgeable guides who are trained architects, with a passion for sharing their insights about the subjects. Traveling in classic VW vans is great. Look forward to more ...

Fantastic Guide!

Fantastic Guide!

23/03/2023

My wife and I had a wonderful day with Luis, touring various Barragan homes and gardens. From the time we were picked up in the VW bus at our hotel, we were enveloped in Luis's knowledge and passion for the ...

The Luis Barragan Tour, a must do if you're into architecture!

The Luis Barragan Tour, a must do if you're into architecture!

16/10/2018

Based on the recommendation of friends of ours, who had taken this tour before, my partner and I booked The Luis Barragan tour with the Traveling Beetle. On the morning of the tour we were picked up right on time by our guide, Jose, in a early 1970's cute little VW bus to begin our journey north of the city. Our first stop was the Satellite towers, some tall and colorful conceptual towers Barragan designed on the outskirts of the city. From there, Jose then took us to Barragan's stables knows as the Cuadra San Cristobal, a large property and stables the architect designed in the suburbs of Mexico City. I must say that of all the properties we visited that day, the stables were definitely the highlight of our tour as they are simply strikingly beautiful. We then had lunch in nearby gardens where Barragan designed a trough before heading back into town where Jose had planned a few stops at buildings designed by Barragan before ending the day at Casa Gilardi one of the architect's latest projects.

During the entire tour, Jose, an architect himself, took his time to explain to us not only the works of Barragan, but also how he "fit in" the modernist current in Mexico at the time. A nice note about the tour is that we never felt we were on any kind of a tight schedule and were always given ample time to walk around the properties, take pictures and even lay on the grass at the stables! Jose was an excellent guide, very knowledgeable, present when we need him, but always attentive to giving us enough space and freedom to discover each place at our own pace. Nico, the owner, whom we also got to meet for a quick coffee break in one of Barragan's buildings (where else would want to have coffee?) was very helpful in organizing our outing on a fairly short notice and even making sure our little Volkswagen bus had a sunroof so we could take in a little sunshine during our excursion.

A truly memorable day and a tour that surpassed our expectations!

Fantastic Tour of Luis Barragan Sites

Fantastic Tour of Luis Barragan Sites

20/02/2019

We spent the day touring some of the most iconic works by Luis Barragan. (Side note, the day after our tour, we were on another tour led by a CDMX local who was very impressed that we had been admitted to these properties, as they are challenging to gain access to). Overall, it was a lovely and inspiring day with great insight and pleasant company. Highly recommended. We took the northern tour, I will definitely take the southern tour the next time we are in Mexico City.

Luis Barragán Tour (Northern route)

Luis Barragán Tour (Northern route)

12/01/2019

Absolutely stunning, this was the highlight of my trip to Mexico City! Having access to the beautiful private homes was incredible, and the three public parks / artworks that Barragán designed were amazing too. The tour guide was a practicing architect and very knowledgeable about Barragán and his unique contributions to architectural history and Mexican culture. And the lunch was actually good! Very good, in fact, a gourmet American-style sandwich from a local bakery, small side salad and a cookie! They were even able to accommodate my annoying gluten free and lactose free diet! (I'm sure they can handle vegans too!) I spent more on this tour than on my whole AirBnB stay, but it was totally worth it! (and it was cheaper than other Barragán tours out there, great value)

The best tour of my life, for real

The best tour of my life, for real

04/09/2023

Our guide, Andrés, was fantastic—he gave us a great deal of information—factual and anecdotal-and had great images for us to look at as we drove between locations. And the locations!! He gave us an introduction to each place, then allowed us to discover it for ourselves, always available for more conversation and questions. The others in our group were also architects and we had a lively conversation going the whole day! It was the best tour I have taken in my life!

The Luis Barragan Tour Southern Itinerary

The Luis Barragan Tour Southern Itinerary

27/04/2023

This is our second Traveling Beetle tour and both have been excellent. Very knowledgeable guides who are trained architects, with a passion for sharing their insights about the subjects. Traveling in classic VW vans is great. Look forward to more tour options for modern Mexican architects as the culture is so rich and fascinating.

Fantastic Guide!

Fantastic Guide!

23/03/2023

My wife and I had a wonderful day with Luis, touring various Barragan homes and gardens. From the time we were picked up in the VW bus at our hotel, we were enveloped in Luis's knowledge and passion for the architecture of Barragan and Mexico. Luis, who is a practicing architect, gave us incredibly useful historical and architectural background as we made our way to each property, and then provided detailed tours at each site. We had lots of time at each site and were never rushed. We also had time to talk with Luis about a range of other subjects about Mexico and Mexico City more broadly.

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