Architect Ricardo Legorreta
Architect Ricardo Legorreta’s work had an artistic flavour, creating both – an intrigue and a sensory experience at the same time, we explore his life and work.
Light belongs to the heart and spirit. Light attracts people, it shows the way and when we see it in the distance, we follow it. – Ricardo Legoretta Ricardo Legorreta Vilchis was a Mexican architect, utterly fascinated with light and its play. He was a prolific designer of private houses, public buildings and master plans in Mexico, the United States and some other countries. He was awarded the prestigious UIA Gold Medal in 1999, the AIA Gold Medal in 2000, and the Praemium Imperiale in 2011.
Ricardo Legorreta was born on May 7, 1931, in Mexico City. He studied architecture at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, where he graduated in 1953. After working for ten years with Jose Villagran Garcia, he established his own office in 1963. Legorreta was a disciple of Luis Barragan and carried Barragan’s ideas to a wider realm.
Barragan, in the 1940s and 1950s amalgamated tradition and the modern movement in architecture yet his work is mostly limited to domestic architecture. Legorreta applied elements of Barragan’s architecture in his work including bright colours, the play of light and shadow, and solid platonic geometric shapes. One of the important contributions of Legorreta has been the use of these elements in other building types such as hotels, factories as well as in commercial and educational buildings. His most famous works are the Camino Real Hotel in Mexico City, the IBM Factory in Guadalajara and the Cathedral of Managua.
In 2000, Legoretta received the Golden Plate Award from the American Academy of Achievement. In 2002, Legoretta received the Order of Isabella the Catholic granted by the government of Spain. He had a career spanning over fifty years and designed over 100 projects ranging from museums and hotels to office buildings and factories, university campuses, urban spaces, as well as private residences in Mexico and abroad.
Legorreta was an artist and designer in tune with the environment and never forgot to design buildings for the people who use them.