The Contemporary Mexican Style: Andres Casillas


It was in 1966 when Luis Barragán was commissioned with the design of the Cuadra San Cristóbal equestrian estate, located in the outskirts of Mexico City. The project was designed by Luis Barragán in collaboration with his chief architect Andrés Casillas de Alba, and completed in 1968. Casillas, also from Guadalajara like Barragán, worked for him during a period of 5 years (1964-1968); however, after the Cuadra San Cristóbal estate was completed, he decided to leave Barragán’s team and in 1969 he opened his own practice.

Architect Andrés Casillas has been widely acknowledged as Luis Barragán’s protégé; his work is deeply influenced by him and he is considered the most faithful to the spirit of Barragan´s “emotional architecture” principles. Casillas presents himself as a solitary, discrete, sensitive and modest man in architecture, very similar values to his former mentor and friend. He has built several houses with the very same sensibility of the master. The majority of his projects, most of them private residences, are located in Mexico, although he has made some office buildings as well. Since 1994 he is responsible for the restoration of the Casa Estudio Luis Barragán in Tacubaya, Mexico City.

In 2015 Casillas undertook a project of a residence in Melbourne, Australia, his first oeuvre outside of Mexico. Its design was undertaken entirely in Mexico, without Casillas ever visiting the site or even setting foot in Australia. Commissioned by an Australian-Mexican couple after living some time in Mexico, the project was designed by Casillas, then documented and administered locally. Its house-ness is rather questionable – more like a monastery than a family home, but, this is a characteristic that most of Luis Barragán’s houses have. Barragán was a powerful and memorable stylist, yet his famously autobiographical designs were in the end always about himself. Casillas was able to reinterpret that spirit perfectly well.

Andrés Casillas also designed several furniture pieces for his residential projects, below I have included some views:

Living room area Casa Serrano by Andrés Casillas (1999)

© Karin Goyer and Don S. Shoemaker Furniture, 2010-2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this website’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Karin Goyer and Don S. Shoemaker Furniture with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

@donshoemaker.com

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.