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Louise Noelle

(b Mexico City, July 6, 1905; d Mexico City, Jan 18, 1982).

Mexican architect, painter and teacher. He studied architecture at the Universidad Nacional de México and qualified as an architect in December 1935. Among his teachers were José Villagrán and Guillermo Zárraga, the latter of whom in particular exerted a powerful rationalist influence on O’Gorman’s early development. This influence was further strengthened in 1924, when O’Gorman discovered the writings of Le Corbusier. His subsequent membership of the Communist Party cemented his adherence to a functionalist aesthetic and resulted in designs for a number of houses executed in an austere, almost featureless style that nevertheless remained faithful to Le Corbusier’s ideas on plasticity. These included the Casa Cecil O’Gorman (1929), the Casa y Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo, built for the artists in 1930–32; and his own house (1931–2), all in the residential district of San Angel in Mexico City.

The innovative approach taken in these works provoked considerable adverse comment, but it impressed ...