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Obituary: Ricardo Legorreta Vilchis (1931- 2011)

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Internationally acclaimed Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta Vilchis has died at the age of 80

Legorreta was celebrated worldwide for his bold use of colour and geometric form and is best known for his 1965 Camino Real Hotel and the 1966 office building for Celanese Mexicana, both in Mexico City. He is widely recognised for carrying forward the traditions of Mexican architect Luis Barragán.

Legorreta was born in Mexico City in 1931, and graduated in architecture from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in 1953. After working as a draughtsman and partner to José Villagrán García, he set up his own practice in 1963.

Notable projects included the office building for Celanese Mexicana in Mexico City, which alludes to Legorreta’s strong sense of Mexican identity. He produced designs for private housing in Mexico, the United States and Japan throughout his life.

He completed his only UK project – the Fashion and Textile Museum in Bermondsey – in 2003.

Last year, Legorreta became the first Mexican architect to receive the prestigious Praemium Imperiale Laureate title. He was also the first Latin American to be awarded the UIA Gold Medal in 1999 for his use of regional values in his work.

He is survived by his son Victor Legorreta who will continue to oversee Legorreta + Legorreta Architects.

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