Architect: Ricardo Legorreta, 2005
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
The historic UNESCO World Heritage village of San Miguel de Allende hosts only one Starchitect-designed residence in the entire city, and this is it—Casa Legorreta, named after the late internationally-renowned Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta, the first Latin AIA Gold Medal winner. On the market for the first time ever, the owners worked directly with Legorreta on the design of this home, completing it on a double lot in 2005.
Architectural aficionados know that owning a Legorreta home is like owning a Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe, or Philip Johnson—they are rare architectural jewels that seldom reach the market.
Casa Legorreta boasts the expected design imprint and indigenous craftsmanship familiar to Legorreta’s style, all delicately balanced between austerity and generosity: striated colonnade walls carved from solid and void, casting striking shadow-and-light patterns; water stairs creating gentle waterscaping white sound throughout the home; the use of wall as sculpture; warm textures and colors with natural materials like terracotta, wood and split-face stone; and the counterbalance of concrete spheres around the grounds. Casa Legorreta’s courtyard and gardens clearly reflect the Latin American tendency to safeguard private space—all outdoor spaces are completely private from neighboring residences.
Upon entering, visitors are drawn through a temazcal-like foyer, drawn by the broken light of the colonnade at the far end, before entering the central courtyard paved in stone and bound by a water-rill-like fountain sourced by a Legorreta water-stair. Once inside, the living room’s large glass doors slide open to maximize the indoor-outdoor lifestyle so popular in this temperate city, with a seamless flow to the outdoor terrace and gardens beyond. The ground floor hosts an office, large dining room open to gardens on both sides, kitchen, and staff quarters, boasted by a covered and wood burning fireplace-anchored dining terrace overlooking the swimming pool.
Upstairs, this three-bedroom home—the bedroom count does not include the staff quarters—includes a master suite with views of the city’s iconic Parroquia church from the pillow, a glass-parapet balcony overlooking the pool, and an in-suite library and desk populated with a Frank Gehry Cross Check™ chair, part of the legacy-worthy furniture that remains with the home, most of which is Legorreta designed. An all-marble dual-sink master bathroom adjoins a dressing room. Two additional en-suite guest rooms fill the second floor, one with a large private terrace.
The large roof terrace hosts an art studio with half-bath—easily converted to a 4th bedroom—and trellis-covered lounge, all with astounding views of the nearby 17th century Parroquia church which serves as the visual termination of the home’s façade-fronting Aldama Street, voted by Architectural Digest in 2022 as the 11th prettiest street in the world, another reason why San Miguel de Allende has received multiple accolades from Travel & Leisure magazine as the “Best City in the World” and equally numerous awards from Condé Nast Traveler as the “Best Small City in the World.” No other Legorreta exists with such a pedigree.