Revolution and revelation: Luis Barragán’s monastery at Tlalpan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Infused by his religious belief, Luis Barragán’s work was distanced from the architectural establishment that clearly embraced the ideological goals of secularization officially sanctioned by the revolutionary government in Mexico. The Monastery of Las Capuchinas Sacramentarias del Purísimo Corazón de María, in Tlalpan, synthetizes Barragán’s personal values, his intuitive methodological design approach and a complex aesthetic philosophy. Designed and built approximately between 1953 to 1960, the small monastery alludes to the core of Barragán’s ideological struggle during the aftermath of the Mexican revolution. This work encapsulates most of Barragán’s personal memories and aspirations to recreate a lost paradise. The Chapel at Tlalpan encapsulates Barragán’s belief that only religion and beauty are a barrier against what he perceived as ‘the grave of dehumanization and vulgarization brought by modern life’. Here Barragán synthetizes years of practice and reflection. He navigated skillfully between two extreme, polarized worlds, immersing himself for many years in the practice of architecture and in real estate speculation, while stubbornly rejecting the emptiness, values and commodification of the modern world. By staging faith and nostalgia at Tlalpan, Barragá proclaimed, ‘Art and religion give meaning to life’.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationModern Architecture and Religious Communities, 1850-1970
Subtitle of host publicationBuilding the Kingdom
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781351043717
ISBN (Print)9781138487116
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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