PaperCity Magazine


Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 94 of 131

N o r t h w e s t o f M e x i c o C i t y, a sinuous and singular house was designed by architect Javier S e n o s i a i n i n 1984 as his own residence. Twenty- seven years later, Casa Orgánica remains a touchstone for Senosiain's u n o r t h o d o x , h i g h l y o r i g i n a l practice, as well as an emblem of the organic school of architecture. This masterwork, known mostly to a small coterie of devotees of 20th- century architecture, shares company with structures on the definitive international roster of Iconic Houses, by such luminaries as Frank Floyd Wright, Charles and Ray Eames, Albert Frey, Alvar Aalto, Oscar Niemeyer, Luis Barragán, Antoni Gaudí, Le Corbusier, Eliel Saarinen, Richard Neutra, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Walter Gropius, and Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Senosiain was born in Mexico City in 1948 and professes the organic concept of design which seeks harmony between humans and nature. This philosophy takes the synthetic manmade forms of building and integrates them into the surrounding world with an emphasis on a respectful conversation with nature. After studying at several schools and universities, Senosiain graduated from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico City (1972), where he has taught the Design Workshop and Architecture Theory class for the past half-century. Concurrently he maintains a modest private practice, Arquitectura Orgánica, for which he's garnered a cult following in Mexico for its visionary stance via private homes and apartment complexes, all colorfully painted, many of them tile- or stained-glass encrusted. These include structures as remarkable as they are unforgettable: La Serpiente (1987); Casa Cacahuate (1989); The Mexican Whale (1992); Flower House (1994); Ciudad Satélite (1995); Nautilus House (2007); the serpent-shaped 10-unit apartment complex (available for rent on Airbnb) Quetzalcóatl's Nest (2007); and, in São Paulo, Brazil, the gold- and copper-patinated Amoeba House (2012). In 2016, the National Museum of Architecture INBA in Mexico City mounted a retrospective of the architect's built and unbuilt designs including a utopian (still) yet-to-be-realized eco-village for affordable housing in Mexico City. He is also the author of two pivotal books on bio-architecture, Organic Architecture of Senosiain (2008) and Bio-Architecture (2003). Senosiain's prime influences are frequently cited as the American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí, and Mexican architect/engineer Félix Candela. Other influences are the Mexican architect/painter Juan O'Gorman, who designed the Diego Rivera/Frida Kahlo houses/studios, and Austrian architect/painter Friedensreich Hundertwasser. But THE OTHERWORLDLY ARCHITECTURAL MASTERWORK OF JAVIER SENOSIAIN AND HIS CASA ORGÁNICA PHOTOGRAPHY BY PIA RIVEROLA AND ARQUITECTURA ORGÁNICA BY ROBERT MORRIS, WITH CATHERINE D. ANSPON Architect Javier Senosiain's Casa Orgánica, 1984 93

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of PaperCity Magazine - PaperCity_Houston_September_2021