FOR­EVER À L.A. MOD

THE CON­SUM­MATE LOS ANGELES AR­CHI­TECT CEL­E­BRATES THE BIG 1-2-5!

Los Angeles Confidential - - Contents - BY MURAT OZTASKIN

Richard Neu­tra, the con­sum­mate LA ar­chi­tect, cel­e­brates his big 1-2-5!

For­get Laut­ner, Ain, and FLW Jr.: It was ar­chi­tect Richard Neu­tra (1892–1970) who most suc­cess­fully en­vi­sioned mod­ern LA in his struc­tures. Among the most in­flu­en­tial mod­ernist ar­chi­tects prac­tic­ing in Amer­ica (and, like his con­tem­po­rary—and close friend and col­lab­o­ra­tor—Rudolph Schindler, an Aus­trian born in Vi­enna), Neu­tra com­pleted dozens of build­ings in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia dur­ing the mid­dle of the 20th cen­tury, pi­o­neer­ing the In­ter­na­tional Style along the way. Most known for his res­i­dences—in­clud­ing Lovell House (com­pleted in 1929, six years af­ter Neu­tra moved to the States) at the base of the Hol­ly­wood Hills, Kro­nish House (1955) on Sun­set Boule­vard, Sin­gle­ton House (1959) in Bel-Air, and Kauf­mann House (1946), his Palm Springs mas­ter­piece—Neu­tra also anointed a scat­ter­ing of civic struc­tures with his long, clean lines and sharp, per­pen­dic­u­lar planes,

most no­tably the Los Angeles County Hall of Records (1962) in DTLA and the Neu­tra Of­fice Build­ing (1950) in Sil­ver Lake. The lat­ter served as the ar­chi­tect’s of­fice for his last two decades, was listed on the Na­tional Regis­ter of His­toric Places in 2004, and was in­au­gu­rated as a mu­seum in 2014. To this day, the 55-year-old Neu­tra In­sti­tute for Sur­vival Through De­sign, named af­ter the ar­chi­tect’s 1954 book es­pous­ing eco-con­scious build­ing, lives on in Sil­ver Lake un­der the stew­ard­ship of Neu­tra’s son, Dion, him­self an ac­claimed LA-based ar­chi­tect who started train­ing with his fa­ther at the age of 11. Through its non­profit work, the In­sti­tute main­tains Neu­tra’s legacy, and re­minds the city of the build­ings that de­fined its struc­tural zeit­geist. Af­ter all, you can never look too of­ten at a clas­sic… neu­tra.org

The Kauf­mann House in Palm

Springs, built in 1946 for busi­ness­man Edgar J. Kauf­mann, was a fa­vorite set­ting for the “Slim Aarons crowd.” be­low, from left:

Lovell House; Bar­sha House (1938), de­signed for film edi­tor Leon Bar­sha, was trans­planted from Val­ley Vil­lage to Pa­cific Pal­isades in the ‘50s to avoid de­struc­tion at the hands of the Hol­ly­wood Free­way ex­ten­sion.

TO­DAY, THE NEU­TRA IN­STI­TUTE FOR SUR­VIVAL THROUGH DE­SIGN RE­MINDS THE CITY OF THE BUILD­INGS

THAT DE­FINED ITS STRUC­TURAL ZEIT­GEIST.

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