http://www.thequietman.org/?p=79

Luis Barragán

Escalera
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Architecture Pritzker Prize: Luis Barragán’s Acceptance Speech

It is alarming that publications devoted to architecture have banished from their pages the words Beauty, Inspiration, Magic, Spellbound, Enchantment, as well as the concepts of Serenity, Silence, Intimacy and Amazement. All these have nestled in my soul, and though I am fully aware that I have not done them complete justice in my work, they have never ceased to be my guiding lights.

“It is impossible to understand Art and the glory of its history without avowing religious spirituality and the mythical roots that lead us to the very reason of being of the artistic phenomenon. Without the one or the other there would be no Egyptian pyramids nor those of ancient Mexico. Would the Greek temples and Gothic cathedrals have existed? Would the amazing marvels of the Renaissance and the Baroque have come about? …”

“In the gardens and homes designed by me, I have always endeavored to allow for the interior placid murmur of silence, and in my fountains, silence sings.”

“Only in intimate communion with solitude may man find himself. Solitude is good company and my architecture is not for those who fear or shun it.”

“Serenity is the great and true antidote against anguish and fear, and today, more than ever, it is the architect’s duty to make of it a permanent guest in the home, no matter how sumptuous or how humble. Throughout my work I have always strived to achieve serenity, but one must be on guard not to destroy it by the use of an indiscriminate palette.”

“The certainty of death is the spring of action and therefore of life, and in the implicit religious element in the work of art, life triumphs over death. ”

“It is essential to an architect to know how to see: I mean, to see in such a way that the vision is not overpowered by rational analysis. … And it may not be out of place to quote another great friend of mine and of the Arts, the poet Carlos Pellicer: Through sight the good and the bad / we do perceive / Unseeing eyes / Souls deprived of hope.”