Juan Ogorman

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

O’gorman, Juan


Born July 6, 1905, in Coyoacán, a suburb of Mexico City. Mexican architect and painter.

O’Gorman graduated from the National School of Architecture in Mexico City in 1926 and was appointed a professor at the National Polytechnic Institute in the city in 1932. In the late 1920’s he became an adherent of functionalism, designing 20 school buildings in this style between 1932 and 1935. In the late 1930’s and the 1940’s he painted huge murals in the manner of D. Rivera. The murals painted at the Mexico City airport between 1936 and 1938 have not survived. His easel painting of this period reflects the influence of surrealism.

Returning to architecture in the mid-20th century, O’Gorman freely employed motifs from ancient Mexican architecture and strove for a synthesis of the arts (the University Library in Mexico City). In the mid-1950’s he developed a style close to that of organic architecture (his own home in Mexico City, 1956). O’Gorman decorates the facades of his buildings with mosaics of stone and smalt and murals.


Smith, C. B. Builders in the Sun: Five Mexican Architects. New York, 1967.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.