It is with profound sadness that the Brignone family announces the passing of Gianfranco Brignone founder of Careyes, at the age of 95 years surrounded by his loving family.
We honour his vision, creativity, passion and perseverance which allowed for Careyes to develop into one of the most important architectural wonders of the pacific coast, resonating for all times to come: the true Magic of Careyes!
He is survived by his children Emanuela, Giorgio and Filippo and the younger generation who will in unison honour respectfully his legacy.
Born in 1926 in Turin (Italy) and one-time banker, Gianfranco flew over the jagged cliffs and jungle hills of Careyes on the Pacific Coast of Jalisco in 1968, and immediately decided to make this unique place his own personal frontier and utopia. Careyes was blessed to meet Gianfranco and he was, in return, exceptionally privileged to discover Careyes.
Deploying some of the world’s most talented and imaginative architects beginning with Marco Aldaco, Alberto Mazzoni, Diego Villaseñor and Jean-Claude Galibert — together with summoning skilled local artisans — in harmony enthusiastically embraced and realized his vision with the pivotal obsession that the landscape is essential and to be preserved: ‘I am not an Architect, but a framer of Nature’.
He developed many important architectural landmarks such as the houses Mi Ojo, Tigre del Mar with its Casa del 3000, together with the mirroring houses Sol de Oriente and Occidente amongst many others, always designing without any straight lines, as they don’t exist in the environment and utilizing mathematical measurements based on the number twenty-seven.
`I have given my life for my dreams and my dreams have given me life.` — GFB
‚One eye to see and one to feel’ he once said and, on this hue, he designed and built beautiful land interventions such as the Ojo de Venado, Arbol de Corazón, and Copa del Sol of which images have circulated all over the world as a result of their strength and vibrancy.
For over 50 years, Gianfranco has closely guarded and preserved the 15km of coastline and beaches of Careyes, which encompasses a wild, virtually uninhabited area, stretching along the Pacific shoreline, and includes about 2000 hectares of jungle, mangroves and cliffs.
Together with the Careyes Foundation established to catalyse innovative programs in education, sports, ecology, and the arts to improve the well-being of local communities along the South Pacific coast of Mexico. The Sea Turtle Protection & Conservation Center was opened in 1983 releasing over 1.9 million new-born sea turtles safely into the ocean.
Careyes has now become one of the rare sustainable and socially responsible communities in Mexico counting more than 42 different nationalities and 287 Caballeros y Damas del Sol.
In September of 2006, he was honoured the “Orden Mexicana del Águila Azteca” from Mexican President Vicente Fox, the highest achievement for a foreigner in recognition his work over the years.