Trained as an engineer, Barragán taught himself architecture in the 1920s. After graduating, he travelled though Spain, France and Morocco, becoming influenced by Le Corbusier and the German-French designer, Ferdinand Bac.
In 1945, Barragán designed the Jardines del Pedregal in Mexico City, a project which was closely followed the design of his own house and studio in Tacubaya, Mexico City in 1947. This latter project was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004.
Due to his understand of aesthetics, Barragán’s work integrated the garden with the house, leading him to site many of his designs in the natural landscape. He was also at home designing urban landmarks as well as furniture and gardens. Barragán tended to use natural materials such as stone and wood in his work, combined with a creative use of light.
Barragán was never nominated for the Royal Gold Medal.