Lomas Verdes, 1964–1967. Sketch by Luis Barragán.

In 1964, Luis Barragán and Juan Sordo Madaleno were commissioned to develop a master plan for a new town with a projected population of 100,000 in an area of 380 hectares on the outskirts of Mexico City. The master plan was completed in 1967, yet the ensuing development, parts of which still exist today, did not fully adhere to the original design. The project was published in the Mexican magazine Arquitectos de México in 1967, and was also featured in the Barragán Retrospective held at the Museo Rufino Tamayo in 1985.

Lomas Verdes, Naucalpan de Juárez, State of Mexico
1964–1967
Urban development
In collaboration with Juan Sordo Madaleno; collaborating architect: José Adolfo Wiechers
Partially realized

In preparation for the planning of Lomas Verdes, Barragán and Sordo Madaleno embarked on a study trip across Europe in 1964, where they visited some of the most advanced examples of contemporary urban and residential design. Upon their return to Mexico, they commenced work on a project that would occupy them for nearly two years. Lomas Verdes was conceived as an autonomous urban aggregation, connected by a transport network to the nearby capital city. The documentation preserved in the Barragán Archives outlines two master plan options. The first was drafted around 1965 and defines the principal components: a central civic district of monumental proportions, suburbs with housing, road infrastructure and public green spaces. These elements remained consistent with the final version of the master plan, delivered in 1967. The latter presents the same key features, including a linear park system, a similar road network and a civic centre of comparable programme and size that would also accommodate government offices. The final master plan, however, introduces a formal differentiation between the urban nucleus and the suburbs, which are designed and positioned according to the morphology of the terrain, establishing a unique sense of place and resulting in a harmonious integration of built and unbuilt spaces.

The core of the entire urban structure is a civic zone that the architects called the “Heart of the City”, a direct reference to the theme of the eighth International Congresses of Modern Architecture (CIAM 8), held in Hoddesdon, England, in 1951. Along with this theoretical underpinning, the Lomas Verdes design is influenced by European urban planning, particularly the post-war Scandinavian experience. The master plan outlines a hierarchical constellation of satellite centres, arranged around the civic zone located on the Cerro Boludo hill. High-rise residential buildings punctuate the slopes behind it. Four suburban districts are organized in curvilinear patterns that follow the shape of the hills. Planned for a population of approximately 23,000 to be housed in over 4,250 dwellings, these suburban neighbourhoods, called colonias, have their own core, around which the principal facilities – including shopping areas and schools – are arranged. Each district is further divided into four or five clusters, called unidades vecinales, consisting of 900 dwellings for roughly 4,500 inhabitants.

Lomas Verdes, 1964–1967. Masterplan of the development.
Lomas Verdes, 1964–1967. Preliminary masterplan, photograph preserved in the Barragán Archives.
Lomas Verdes, 1964–1967. Preliminary plan, dated 20 April 1965.
Lomas Verdes, 1964–1967. Preliminary plan, dated 30 April 1965.
Lomas Verdes, 1964–1967. Perspective view by José Adolfo Wiechers of a residential cluster.
Lomas Verdes, 1964–1967. Model photograph.
Lomas Verdes, 1964–1967. Model photograph.

The road system and the green-space network, formed by shared gardens and public parks, constitute the two main infrastructures of the new town. These two realms are arranged without intersecting. In the residential areas, the green spaces and topographical features of the terrain form an organic composition, while the roughly symmetrical layout of the core areas follows a precise geometry across their different scales. Set along the natural lines of the topography, the neighbourhood units present rows of different dwelling typologies: private villas on individual plots, one- and two-family houses, terrace houses, mid-rise apartment blocks (four to eight storeys) and high-rise apartment buildings (up to twenty storeys).

The Heart of the City is both a public urban space and a landmark. Located on the east slope of Cerro Boludo, it is accessed by Avenida Lomas Verdes and Paseo Lomas Verdes, the main thoroughfares that merge in an underground tunnel. The monumental ensemble, painted in a palette of reds, oranges, ochre, sand and white, is configured as a promenade architecturale ascending from east to west. The so-called Ziggurat, a series of stepped terraces flanked by a double row of tall linear buildings, leads to a church at the highest point. On the opposite lower end, a commercial centre surrounds the Edificio Símbolo, a monumental high-rise that dominates the view from the road entering the city. To the southwest of the church, a cluster of seventeen apartment buildings with twenty to twenty-five storeys are arranged along the Cerro del Rayo ridge.

Lomas Verdes, 1964–1967. Perspective view of the development.
Lomas Verdes, 1964–1967. Perspective view of the Ziggurat.
Lomas Verdes, 1964–1967. Perspective view of the Ziggurat.
Lomas Verdes, 1964–1967. Study, with annotations, by Luis Barragán of the Edificio Símbolo.
Lomas Verdes, 1964–1967. Study, with annotations, by Luis Barragán of the Edificio Símbolo.
Lomas Verdes, 1964–1967. Edificio Símbolo model photograph.
Excerpt of Arquitectos de México, May 1967, as preserved in Barragán’s collection of publications about his work. The cover of the magazine features a perspective view of the Ziggurat in Lomas Verdes.
Excerpt of Arquitectos de México, May 1967, including a description of the Lomas Verdes masterplan, as preserved in Barragán’s collection of publications about his work.
Excerpt of Arquitectos de México, May 1967, including a description of the Lomas Verdes masterplan, as preserved in Barragán’s collection of publications about his work.
Excerpt of Arquitectos de México, May 1967, including a description of the Lomas Verdes masterplan, as preserved in Barragán’s collection of publications about his work.

Lomas Verdes was scheduled to be built in eight phases, starting with the Heart of the City and its adjacent residential districts, then gradually expanding westward. The development’s programme encompassed more than 18,400 dwellings spread over an area of 3,800,000 square metres, with 114,000 square metres occupied by roads, 156,000 square metres earmarked for parks, and 290,000 square metres of public space and plazas. In addition, 33,000 square metres were planned for schools and 53,000 square metres set aside for commercial use. In 1968, just one year after the final plan was delivered, Barragán wrote in his curriculum vitae: “This city is under construction; the overpasses and an important avenue have already been built, as well as two of its residential neighbourhoods.” Sordo Madaleno, interviewed the same year, declared: “We will continue with schools, offices, churches, commercial centres and maybe even universities.” Period photographs show the fast-paced progress of the construction work.

The architects’ role became secondary after 1967, when the drawings were entrusted to the technical office of the Lomas Verdes property development company. Barragán continued to contribute sporadically to the project in the role of an advisor. The construction of the road network advanced mostly in line with the plan formalized by the architects, while the residential areas, erected from the 1970s onward, departed substantially from the original design proposals. The focal point of the urban ensemble, the planned Heart of the City, was never built. Consequently, Barragán and Sordo Madaleno’s original vision of suburban and urban living blended in harmony is hard to recognize in today’s sprawling city.

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ca. 1928
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Guadalajara, State of Jalisco
ca. 1928
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Semi-detached residences
Guadalajara, State of Jalisco
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Chapala, State of Jalisco
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Chapala, State of Jalisco
1934
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ca. 1934
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Guadalajara, State of Jalisco
ca. 1934
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Collaborating engineer: Ramón Hermosillo
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1934
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Guadalajara, State of Jalisco
1934
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Townhouse
Collaborating engineer: Ramón Hermosillo
Guadalajara, State of Jalisco
1934–1935
Parque de la Revolución
Landscape design
In collaboration with Juan José Barragán
Partially demolished
Guadalajara, State of Jalisco
1934–1935
Cine Jalisco
Cinema
In collaboration with Juan José Barragán
Guadalajara, State of Jalisco
1935
Houses for José T. Sauza
Study
Realization unknown
Guadalajara, State of Jalisco
1936
Barragán Apartment
Interior design
Mexico City
ca. 1936
Houses in Avenida Mazatlán
Townhouses
Mexico City
1936
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Semi-detached residences
Mexico City
1936
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Townhouse
Mexico City
1936
House in Avenida Tamaulipas
Townhouse
Demolished
Mexico City
1936–1937, 1940
Pizarro Suárez House
Villa
Mexico City
1937–1940
Amatitán Parish Church
Religious; renovation, extension
In collaboration with Ignacio Díaz Morales
Amatitán, State of Jalisco
ca. 1937
Villaseñor House
Villa
Collaborating architect: Antonio Ramos Salido
Demolished
Mexico City
1939–1940; mid 1940s
González Gallo House
Villa; extension
Collaborating engineer: José Creixell
Mexico City
Late 1930s
Apartment Building in Calles Lerma and Guadiana
Mixed-use
Demolished
Mexico City
ca. 1939
Two Apartment Buildings in Calle Elba
Mixed-use
Partially demolished
Mexico City
ca. 1939
Apartment Building for Raoul Sánchez and Margarita J. de Sánchez
Mixed-use
Collaborating engineer: José Creixell
Mexico City
1939
Apartment Building for María de la Parra de Verduzco
Mixed-use
Collaborating engineer: José Creixell
Mexico City
1939–1940
Apartment Building and Two Houses for Arturo Figueroa Uriza
Mixed-use and townhouses
Collaborating engineer: José Creixell
Mexico City
1939–1940
Apartment Building for Lorenzo Garza
Mixed-use
Collaborating engineer: José Creixell
Mexico City
1939–1940
Studio-Apartment Building
Residential
Collaborating architect: Max Cetto; collaborating engineer: José Creixell
Mexico City
1939–1941
José Clemente Orozco House
Townhouse; consultancy
Mexico City
Late 1930s
House in Avenida Nuevo León
Townhouse
Mexico City
1940
Apartment Building for Concepción Ribot
Mixed-use
Collaborating engineer: José Creixell
Demolished
Mexico City
1940
Apartment Building and House for Alfonso Barragán
Residential and Townhouse
Collaborating engineer: José Creixell
The house is demolished
Mexico City
ca. 1940
Chávez Peón de Ochoa House
Townhouse
Collaborating engineer: José Creixell
Mexico City
1940
Apartment Building for Carmen García Rulfo de Cristo
Mixed-use
Collaborating engineer: José Creixell
Mexico City
1940–1941
Apartment Building for José Mojica
Mixed-use
Collaborating architect: Antonio Ramos Salido; collaborating engineer: José Creixell
Mexico City
ca. 1940
Apartment Building at 14 Parque Melchor Ocampo
Mixed-use
Collaborating engineer: José Creixell
Mexico City
1940–1941
El Arenal Parish Church
Religious; renovation
In collaboration with Ignacio Díaz Morales
El Arenal, State of Jalisco
Early 1940s
González Gallo House in Cuernavaca
Villa; extension
Cuernavaca, State of Morelos
1940–1941
Terrenos Madereros
Subdivision
Mexico City
1941–1943
Barragán House and Gardens at 20 Calle Francisco Ramírez
Townhouse; renovation, extension, landscape design
Also known as Ortega House
Mexico City
Mid 1940s
Bermúdez Garden
Landscape design
In collaboration with Xavier Guerrero
Realization unknown
1943–1945
Gardens in Avenida San Jerónimo
Landscape design
Demolished
Mexico City
1945–1952
Jardines del Pedregal
Urban development
Collaborating urban planner: Carlos Contreras Elizondo
Mexico City
Late 1940s, mid 1950s
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Townhouses; renovation
Realization unknown
Mexico City
Late 1940s
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Townhouse
Mexico City
Late 1940s
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Townhouse
Unbuilt
Mexico City
1948
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Townhouse
Mexico City
1948–1951
Prieto López House
Villa
Mexico City
1949–1950
Houses at 10 and 12 Avenida de las Fuentes
Villas
In collaboration with Max Cetto
Partially demolished
Mexico City
1953–1955, 1966
Majahua
Subdivision, holiday house
Manzanillo, State of Colima
1953
El Zócalo
Urban design
Partially realized
Mexico City
1953
Pedestrian Underpasses
Urban design
Unbuilt
Mexico City
Mid 1950s
Avenida Florencia and Avenida Sevilla
Urban design
Unbuilt
Mexico City
1954
Parque Azteca
Landscape design
Unbuilt
Mexico City
1954–1963
Capuchin Convent Chapel
Religious; extension, renovation
Mexico City
1955
Gálvez House
Villa
Mexico City
1955
Hotel Pierre Marqués Gardens
Landscape design
Acapulco, State of Guerrero
Mid 1950s
Punta Diamante
Subdivision
Unbuilt
Acapulco, State of Guerrero
Mid 1950s
Calle Pedrera
Subdivision
Realization unknown
Acapulco, State of Guerrero
1955–1958
Jardines del Bosque
Guadalajara, State of Jalisco
Guadalajara, State of Jalisco
Mid 1950s
Roundabout and Fountain in Parque de la Revolución
Urban design
Unbuilt
Guadalajara, State of Jalisco
Mid 1950s
Linda Vista
Subdivision, villa
Realization unknown
Guadalajara, State of Jalisco
1956
Apartment in Calle Guadiana
Renovation
Realization unknown
Mexico City
1956
Plaza del Cigarro
Urban design
Mexico City
1957
Torres de Satélite
Urban design
In collaboration with Mathias Goeritz
Naucalpan de Juárez, State of Mexico
Late 1950s
Club in Ciudad Satélite
Sports complex
Unbuilt
Naucalpan de Juárez, State of Mexico
Late 1950s
Apartment Buildings in Ciudad Satélite
Mixed-use
Unbuilt
Naucalpan de Juárez, State of Mexico
1957–1962
Las Arboledas
Urban development
Collaborating engineer: Pablo González López
Atizapán de Zaragoza, State of Mexico
Late 1950s
La Cañada
Subdivision
Collaborating engineer: Pablo González López; collaborating architect: Leopoldo I. Maldonado
Unbuilt
Mexico City
Late 1950s–early 1960s
Olas Altas
Subdivision
Unbuilt
Manzanillo, State of Colima
Late 1950s–mid 1960s
Santiago Yacht and Country Club
Tourism development
Realization unknown
Manzanillo, State of Colima
Late 1950s
Calvario Chapel
Religious
Construction differs from Barragán’s design
Guadalajara, State of Jalisco
ca. 1960
Santa Cruz Sanctuary
Religious; extension
Collaborating architect: Javier Guido Dorantes
Unbuilt
Mexico City
ca. 1960
Senderos House
Villa
Unbuilt
Cuernavaca, State of Morelos
1960
Mexico City Expansion
Study
Valley of Mexico, State of Mexico
Early 1960s–mid 1960s
Apartment Building at 17 Calle Francisco Ramírez
Residential
Unbuilt
Mexico City
Early 1960s–mid 1960s
Punta Bruja
Subdivision, residential
Realization unknown
Acapulco, State of Guerrero
1961–1962, 1966–1967
Club Hípico Francés
Equestrian complex
Partially realized
Atizapán de Zaragoza, State of Mexico
Early 1960s
Cross-Country Racecourse
Landscape design
Atizapán de Zaragoza, State of Mexico
1961–1966
Los Clubes
Residential development
Atizapán de Zaragoza, State of Mexico
Early 1960s
Plaza de las Atarjeas
Landscape design
Realization unknown
1962
Suinaga de Siles House
Villa
Unbuilt
Mexico City
Early 1960s
Lundahl House
Villa; extension
Realization unknown
Mexico City
1962
San Mateo Tecoloapan Parish Church
Religious; renovation, extension
Unbuilt
Atizapán de Zaragoza, State of Mexico
1963
Subdivision in Chapala
Study
Realization unknown
Chapala, State of Jalisco
Mid 1960s
Condominio Horizontal
Semi-detached residences
Unbuilt
Atizapán de Zaragoza, State of Mexico
Mid 1960s
Villa Olímpica
Residential complex
Collaborating architect: Andrés Casillas
Unbuilt
Mexico City
1964–1967
Lomas Verdes
Urban development
In collaboration with Juan Sordo Madaleno; collaborating architect: José Adolfo Wiechers
Partially realized
Naucalpan de Juárez, State of Mexico
1965–1966
Salk Institute Courtyard
Landscape design; consultancy
Barragán’s input is incorporated in Kahn’s final design of the Salk Institute
La Jolla, State of California, USA
1965–1966
Cobre de México
Landscape design
Developed in connection with the housing complex by architect Juan Sordo Madaleno
Mexico City
1965–1967
La Alteña
Residential development
In collaboration with Juan Sordo Madaleno, collaborating architect: Andrés Casillas
Naucalpan de Juárez, State of Mexico
1965–1968, 1971–1972
La Alteña Chapel
Religious
First phase developed in collaboration with Juan Sordo Madaleno
Naucalpan de Juárez, State of Mexico
1966–1968
Cuadra San Cristóbal
Villa, equestrian complex, landscape design
In collaboration with Andrés Casillas
Atizapán de Zaragoza, State of Mexico
1966, 1970–1971
Covarrubias House
Villa; extension; subdivision
Mexico City
1967
Chicago Historical Society
Consultancy
Chicago, State of Illinois, USA
1968, 1972
Los Puentes
Subdivision
Unbuilt
Tepotzotlán, State of Mexico
1968
Cross-Shaped Towers
Study
Realization unknown
1969–1971
Granjas de Tepotzotlán
Residential development
Unbuilt
Tepotzotlán, State of Mexico
1969
Barragán Gortázar House
Townhouse
Naucalpan de Juárez, State of Mexico
Late 1960s
Bugambilias
Equestrian complex
Realization unknown
Guadalajara, State of Jalisco
Late 1960s
Bugambilias Chapel
Religious
Realization unknown
Guadalajara, State of Jalisco
Late 1960s–early 1970s
San Miguel
Residential development
Atizapán de Zaragoza, State of Mexico
Late 1960s
Granjas Margaritas
Subdivision
Realization unknown
Cuautitlán Izcalli, State of Mexico
1970
Zueta Moreno
Subdivision
Realization unknown
Mexico City
1971–1972
Edificio Símbolo
Mixed-use complex
Collaborating architect: Andrés Casillas
Unbuilt
Naucalpan de Juárez, State of Mexico
1971, 1975
Plaza Oval
Urban design, apartment buildings
Unbuilt
Ecatepec de Morelos, State of Mexico
1971
Calle Soledad
Subdivision
Realization unknown
Mexico City
1972
Fountain in Ciudad Satélite
Urban design
Realization unknown
Naucalpan de Juárez, State of Mexico
1972–1973
Fuente Roja
Urban design
In collaboration with Ricardo Legorreta
Unbuilt
Naucalpan de Juárez, State of Mexico
1972
El Morro
Residential development
Unbuilt
Tepotzotlán, State of Mexico
1972
Neighbourhood Entrance in Lomas Verdes
Urban design
Realization unknown
Naucalpan de Juárez, State of Mexico
1972–1974
El Palomar
Urban development
Collaborating architect: Raúl Ferrera
Unbuilt
Palomar, State of Jalisco
1974
García Robles House
Villa
In collaboration with Andrés Casillas
Unbuilt
Mexico City
1975–1977
Gilardi House
Townhouse
Mexico City
1975–1977
Bernal Molina House
Villa
Construction differs from Barragán’s design
Mexico City
1976
House at 12 Calle Francisco Ramírez
Renovation; study
Unbuilt
Mexico City
1976–1977
Serrano
Residential development, villa
Unbuilt
Edinburg, State of Texas, USA
1977
Suárez House
Villa
Project by Luis Barragán and Raúl Ferrera
Realization unknown
Mexico City
1977
Harris Bank
Interior design
Project by Luis Barragán and Raúl Ferrera
Mexico City
1978
Office for Bruno Newman
Interior design
Project by Luis Barragán and Raúl Ferrera
Realization unknown
Mexico City
1978
Centro Tane
Interior design
Realization unknown
Mexico City
1978
Torre de Fuego
Urban design
Project by Luis Barragán and Raúl Ferrera
Unbuilt
Monterrey, State of Nuevo León
1978–1980
Meyer House
Villa
Also known as Garate House
Mexico City
1979
Cecurfic
Mixed-use complex
Project by Luis Barragán and Raúl Ferrera
Unbuilt
Monterrey, State of Nuevo León
1979
Fundición Office Building
Mixed-use
Project by Luis Barragán and Raúl Ferrera
Unbuilt
Mexico City
1979
Silver Tower
Sculpture
Project by Luis Barragán and Raúl Ferrera
1979
El Remanso
Urban design
Project by Luis Barragán and Raúl Ferrera
Unbuilt
Monterrey, State of Nuevo León
1979
Muralla China
Apartment complex
Project by Luis Barragán and Raúl Ferrera
Unbuilt
Manzanillo, State of Colima
1979, 1982, 1984
Barragán + Ferrera office
Interior design
Project by Barragán + Ferrera
Mexico City
1979–1982
Casa del Pelícano
Villa
Project by Barragán + Ferrera
Unbuilt
Manzanillo, State of Colima
1979–1982
Visa
Corporate complex
Project by Barragán + Ferrera
Unbuilt
Monterrey, State of Nuevo León
1979–1980
Capuchin Convent Wing
Religious; extension
Project by Barragán + Ferrera
Unbuilt
Mexico City
1980
Doral Park Country Club
Mixed-use complex
Project by Barragán + Ferrera
Unbuilt
Doral, State of Florida, USA
1980–1982
Garza Laguera Penthouse
Interior design
Project by Barragán + Ferrera
Partially realized
Mexico City
1980–1981
Development in Cancún
Study
Project by Barragán + Ferrera
Unbuilt
Cancún, State of Quintana Roo
1981
Golf Club in Manzanillo
Sports complex
Project by Barragán + Ferrera
Unbuilt
Manzanillo, State of Colima
1981–1986
Valdés House
Villa
Project by Barragán + Ferrera
Monterrey, State of Nuevo León
1981
Puerta de Oro
Urban design
Project by Barragán + Ferrera
Unbuilt
Monterrey, State of Nuevo León
1981–1982
Placa Roja
Urban design
Project by Barragán + Ferrera
Unbuilt
Monterrey, State of Nuevo León
1981–1982
Calvin Klein Stores
Retail; study
Project by Barragán + Ferrera; collaborating designers: Benjamin Baldwin and Jonathan Warwick
Unbuilt
1982–1983
Coppola House
Villa, mixed-use complex, landscape design
Project by Barragán + Ferrera
Unbuilt
Rutherford, Napa Valley, State of California, USA
1982
Peña House
Subdivision, villa
Project by Barragán + Ferrera
Unbuilt
Santiago, State of Nuevo León
1982
Baldwin House
Villa
Project by Barragán + Ferrera
Unbuilt
Sarasota, Florida, USA
1982–1984
Faro del Comercio
Urban design
Project by Barragán + Ferrera
Monterrey, State of Nuevo León
1982
Montalbán House
Villa
Project by Barragán + Ferrera
Unbuilt
Los Angeles, State of California, USA
1983
Dance School
Educational
Project by Barragán + Ferrera
Realization unknown
Location unknown
1983–1985
Barragán Retrospective
Exhibition design
Project by Barragán + Ferrera
Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City
1984–1987
Los Palos Grandes
Villa; renovation
Project by Barragán + Ferrera
Realization unknown
Caracas, Venezuela
1984–1985
Caballero House
Villa
Project by Barragán + Ferrera
Gómez Palacio, State of Durango
1984–1987
Menil Guesthouse
Mixed-use residence
Project by Barragán + Ferrera
Unbuilt
Houston, State of Texas, USA
1984–1985
Sumner Peck
Urban design
Project by Barragán + Ferrera
Unbuilt
Madera, State of California, USA
1984
Morrissey House
Villa
Project by Barragán + Ferrera
Unbuilt
Southampton, State of New York, USA
1984–1986
Monterrey and Butaca Chairs
Furniture design
Project by Barragán + Ferrera
1985–1986
Carver
Mixed-use complex
Project by Barragán + Ferrera; collaborating engineers: Morse Consulting Group
Unbuilt
Palm Desert, State of California, USA
1986
Chick’n Taco
Retail
Project by Barragán + Ferrera
Realization unknown
Location unknown
1986–1987
Borja House
Villa
Project by Barragán + Ferrera; collaborating architect: Ángel Borja Navarrete
Realization unknown
Mexico City
1987
Toro de Bronce Fountain
Landscape design
Project by Barragán + Ferrera; sculpture by Juan Soriano
Villahermosa, State of Tabasco
1987
Gibert Penthouse
Interior design
Project by Barragán + Ferrera
Realization unknown
Mexico City
1987–1994
Bel-Air Divertimento
Landscape design
Project by Barragán + Ferrera
Completed posthumously by landscape architects Lawrence Reed Moline
Los Angeles, State of California, USA