This section provides answers to frequently asked questions about gaining access to Luis Barragán’s architectural legacy for purposes related to research, publication and/or image usage.
Most of Luis Barragán’s built works are located in Mexico, specifically in Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey. The Barragan Foundation has published a guidebook to the architect’s extant works (Barragán Guide, Mexico City, 2002, second edition 2010; also available in Spanish: Guía Barragán). When visiting the listed sites, please keep in mind that some are private properties whose owners might not allow access, photography or any related activities on their premises.
The Barragan Foundation has no association with the owners or managers of any buildings designed by Luis Barragán. For information about visiting some of the architect’s most important works and applicable conditions/fees, please contact the following:
Casa Luis Barragán:
Tel. (+52) 55 5515-4908 and (+52) 55 5272-4945
Prieto López House:
Capuchin Convent in Tlalpan:
Tel. (+52) 55 5573 2395
Cuadra San Cristóbal:
Yes, if the photos and videos are solely intended for personal and private use. This includes personal social media channels, but excludes any kind of professional, corporate, promotional, commercial, advertising-oriented or for-profit social media usage.
Please note that you must obtain permission from the respective owner or administrator in order to gain access to a built work. The Barragan Foundation is not associated with the ownership or management of any works by Luis Barragán in Mexico; likewise, it bears no responsibility for the conservation of the works or access to them. Any required access fees or charges for filming/photography have nothing to do with the Barragan Foundation and do not permit the public use of photographs or videos taken on site.
Should you want to publicly use any photographic/video material, you must obtain the necessary permission from ProLitteris or one of its associated sister societies. Note that permission will not be granted for merchandising, advertising or promotional campaigns (see question #4 below).
Even if you successfully acquire permission to conduct a photo shoot on the premises of any work by Barragán, please be aware that, as a general policy, the Barragan Foundation does not allow the direct or indirect association of Luis Barragán’s works with commercial activities of any kind, and thus will not allow their usage as the backdrop for a fashion, promotional or commercial campaign. However, specific requests formulated within the context of a broader sponsorship project or cultural collaboration will be considered on an individual basis. In such cases, please contact the Barragan Foundation to explore this possibility.
Please inform the Barragan Foundation at the earliest possible stage, as such projects require specific consideration and pre-emptive approval. The related conditions and fees will be established by ProLitteris and its associated sister societies.
The Barragan Foundation welcomes creativity and encourages such approaches. However, it is important to be aware of possible copyright restrictions related to the reproduction and manipulation of work by a fellow creative such as Luis Barragán. Please inform the Barragan Foundation of your intended work and its potential by-products (such as multiples, publications, printed matter, replicas, videos, broadcasts, online use, websites, digital use, microform and other media). If in doubt, we recommend that you seek specific legal advice. If your project involves acting, performing or photo/video shoots in one of Barragán’s buildings, you must obtain permission from the respective owner. In the case of live performances, please arrange for the Barragan Foundation to receive copies of any print, audio or video documentation generated around the performance. The public dissemination of such material requires copyright clearance.
In the case of a personal academic paper, thesis or related research project that will not be published, you are free to use images of Barragán’s work. The Barragan Foundation advises the appropriate citation of sources. In the image credits, please mention the Barragan Foundation copyright together with any other applicable references (i.e. the photographer and/or other parties involved). If your thesis is to be published or your work is intended for an academic publication, a proper rights clearance must be obtained from ProLitteris or one of its associated sister societies.
A selection of images is available from the Media Kit on this website, contingent upon proper copyright clearance from ProLitteris or one of its associated sister societies. In addition to the images in the Media Kit, further pictures can be provided upon request, against payment of a handling fee based on the quantity and quality of the respective images. Said fees are necessary to cover the cost of image production and administrative work. Handling fees directly support the Barragan Foundation and contribute to the conservation and management of the Archives.
Regardless of who owns a work or document by Luis Barragán, the copyright remains with the Barragan Foundation. This applies likewise to photographs produced by Armando Salas Portugal in connection with Barragán’s works. The reproduction of Barragán-related images or documents requires a proper rights clearance with ProLitteris or one of its associated sister societies.
Apart from legal exceptions in certain countries, any use of published material that is not purely personal and private requires prior permission. If you intend to publish any material now or in the future, a proper rights clearance with ProLitteris or one of its associated sister societies is required.
The information you are looking for might be found in some of the publications available on the market or in public libraries, including:
- Emilio Ambasz, The Architecture of Luis Barragán, MoMA, 1976
- Enrique X. de Anda Alanis, Luis Barragán: Clásico del silencio, Escala, 1989
- Yutaka Saito (ed.), Luis Barragán, TOTO Shuppan, 1992
- Federica Zanco (ed.), Luis Barragán: The Quiet Revolution, Skira, 2001
- Danièle Pauly, Barragán: Space and Shadow, Walls and Colour, Birkhäuser, 2002
- Raúl Rispa (ed.), Barragán: The Complete Works, Princeton Architectural Press, 2003
- Louise Noelle, Luis Barragán: Búsqueda y creatividad, UNAM, 2004
- Wim van den Bergh and Kim Zwarts, Luis Barragán: The Eye Embodied, Pale Pink Publishers, 2006
You can also explore our website, which presents a number of Barragán’s most iconic projects as well as the architect’s life and work.
If you need specific guidance concerning specialized publications, references or sources, please send an e-mail to the Barragan Foundation outlining the topic, aim and scope of your research. We will try to answer within a reasonable period of time.
Please note that the Barragan Foundation has limited resources. The capacity of staff is largely absorbed by on-going research and archival work, as well as the preparation of publications and exhibitions, loans, reproduction campaigns and responses to requests. Consequently, we are not able to provide assistance on short notice.
The fragile nature of many documents in the Barragán Archives necessitates their protection from physical exposure. Access to the original documents can be granted on an exceptional basis to scholars pursuing specialized research, after submission of a written request detailing their field of study and specific topics of interest. As the consultation is scheduled by appointment and requires personal assistance, the dates and conditions of access depend on the availability of staff. The digitization of a significant portion of the archival holdings is in progress. Please note that the Barragan Foundation cannot provide reproductions of archival materials for the work of students or junior researchers. For additional information on the availability and use of selected archival material, please see the Media Kit and Copyright sections.
The Barragan Foundation is a not-for-profit institution established under Swiss law and located at the Vitra headquarters in Birsfelden near Basel, Switzerland. As a cultural institution, the Barragan Foundation has no commercial involvement with the furniture design company Vitra. While supported with funding from Vitra, the Barragan Foundation also pursues other financial resources for sustaining and implementing its activities – in the form of collaborations, agreements and licenses – within the scope of its mission and policies. If you are considering a contribution or would like to propose some form of sponsorship and/or collaboration, please contact the Barragan Foundation.
Upon his death in 1988, Luis Barragán – who had no direct heirs – bequeathed his archives and copyrights to his associate Raúl Ferrera Torres, who passed away four years later. In 1995, after several attempts to find a buyer in Mexico, Ferrera’s widow put the archives up for sale through the Max Protetch Gallery in New York. With the aim of preserving the unity of this important architectural legacy, the Barragán Archives were acquired and incorporated within the cultural activities sponsored by the Swiss company Vitra. In 1996, the Barragan Foundation was established in Switzerland, in order to manage the archival and curatorial work required by such an acquisition.
“Barragan Foundation” was chosen as the name of the institution to address a wide international public that is not necessarily familiar with Spanish diacritics. However, when referring to the person Luis Barragán, we use the Spanish spelling with the acute accent.