Richard Neutra (April 8, 1892-April 16, 1970) was an Austrian-American architect. He is known as the creator of the California modern style, which melds the interior with the exterior. Some of his works include the Kaufmann House, the Los Angeles County Hall of Records, Palos Verdes High School, and the Jardinette Apartments. He is remembered as being especially open to his clients' preferences.
Neutra was born in Vienna, Austria Hungary into a wealthy family. He studied under renowned architect Adolf Loos at the Vienna University of Technology throughout most of the 1910s. After the First World War, he went to work as a landscape architect in Switzerland, then worked with Erich Mendelsohn in Germany. He married Dione Niedermann in 1922 and in 1923, he emigrated
to the United States. He first worked with Martin Roche and Frank Lloyd Wright, but soon after emigrating moved in with his colleague and friend, Rudolf Schindler, to live and work communally in the Kings Road House in West Hollywood, California.
Neutra's first major project in Los Angeles was for the garden of a beach house in Newport Beach. Neutra later collaborated with Schindler on a project for the League of Nations and the two of them went on to form a firm with planner Carol Aronovici called the Architectural Group for Industry and Commerce. Neutra then went on to form his own firm.
Miller House in Palm Springs, California
Neutra designed many houses, apartment buildings, research buildings, and other edifices. Some of his most important works before the start of WWII include the Jardinette Apartments (1928), the Lovell house (1929), and the Sten and Frank House (1934). After WWII, he designed perhaps his most important work, the Kaufmann House, in 1946.
The Lovell House
The Kaufmann House
Soon after, he designed the Tremaine House in Santa Barbara (1947), and the Case Study House #20 the Bailey House (1948).
Tremaine House in Santa Barbara
The Van der Leeuw Research House
Neutra's style was characterized by melding the interior with the exterior, paying particular attention to nature and landscape. His work was heavily influenced by his belief in evolution. He believed that design elements affect not only the lives of those who use them, but their DNA and therefore the lives and bodies of their descendants. In his book, Survival by Design, he wrote that the greatest threat to humanity is not societal, but rather lies in "multitudinous microdosages of stimuli," by which he meant that small doses of poor design can have an adverse effect on human evolution.
Neutra was posthumously awarded the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal in 1977, and his vision has been widely imitated and re-imagined since his death.
- Birthday Date: Tuesday, 08 April 2014