The Casa O’Gorman is part of the Museo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo. A few differences mean that it deserves to be looked at all on its own. Some tremendous number of visitors will attend to the museum based on an interest in the lives of Diego and Frida. And they won’t be let down.
The Casa O’Gorman, the odd man out in this trio, will probably always be the least visited. It’s even in the shadow on the piece of territory it shares with its two towering neighbors. But perhaps of the three, it’s of more interest to the architecture and design fans.
This house was built as a prototype, and even as a marketing model. It’s the original, and its influence over the design and building of the other two houses, and of countless other homes and buildings in the City and the country is simply incalculable.
The First “Functionalist” House
Built between 1929 and 1931, the house allowed Juan O’Gorman to fully develop his study of the work of Le Corbusier. He then used to the home to sell Diego Rivera on his idea for a home for Diego and Frida after they’d been in the United States for many years. The north façade bears two tall, horizontal windows on each floor. The home’s color was determined simply by the red anti-rust paint of the time. (Many of the building’s finishes are in steel.)
The studio, built as an office for O’Gorman’s father, shows the first floor to ceiling use of glass in a residential building. The handrails that fascinate so many today are simply plumbing pipes adapted by O’Gorman for his own purposes.
The bathroom preserves all its original elements: furniture, faucets, taps, towel racks, and accessories for toilet paper. The vents open with pulleys.
As mentioned above, the Casa O’Gorman is part of the larger Diego and Frida Casa Estudio Museum. The museum provides a lot more patient explanation. God is, after all, in the details. Don’t miss out on the chance to visit. As old as it is, it’s the sort of space that will leave many visitors simply speechless.
Hours: Tuesday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
A model home, meant to sell Diego Rivera a house of his own, it's the first truly "funcionalist" house of its kind.