Richard Neutra, Neutra VDL Research House

Neutra
The Penthouse of Neutra VDL Research House.
Image Source: http://www.neutra-vdl.org/site/appeal-11.asp?6102010154854

Richard Neutra was an Austrian American architect that moved to southern California in 1923. He worked for many other famous talented architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright and Rudolf Schindler. His first works in the United States were the landscape architecture for Schindler’s beach house in Newport Beach.

Richard Neutra designed the Neutra VDL Research house with his son, Dion Neutra. The house was originally built in 1932 for Neutra’s family to live in. The house was 2,000 Square feet and is located in Los Angeles. Neutra sought out Duth philanthropist Dr. CH Van Der Leeuw for a small loan to start his project. This is how the name of Neutra VDL Research house came to existence. Three separate homes were designed to accommodate three families on a small property. In 1963, a fire destroyed all but the Garden house and the basement of the original wing.

Richard used natural light, garden patios and glass to create a sense of open space on the small property. Neutra states: ‘I wanted to demonstrate that human beings, brought together in close proximity, can be accommodated in very satisfying circumstances, taking in that precious amenity called privacy’. The walls of the VDL houses were made of glass and looked in on open garden patios. The layout of the house allowed for privacy in certain areas in every room. Many of the furniture pieces were built in to utilize the small space to the best ability. This also reflected on his modern approach to design. His style was modern, geometric, yet open and connected with nature. Neutra attended to the needs of clients in a realistic way. Neutra VDL Research house is a perfect example of this.

Neutra was most famous for his designs that incorporated nature into the architecture. The house has been reconstructed several times and remains to this day. The department of Environmental Design at Cal Poly Pomona owns and operates the house.

 

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