Richard Neutra was born in Vienna in 1892, and emigrated to the US in 1929. The architecture of Vienna left a sense of richness and elegance that was to emerge in his mature work, but in entirely new forms. In southern California Neutra developed an especially appropriate regional architecture, adding a new dimension and direction to the several regional design systems in that area. His motifs, based on simple post and beam construction, were decidedly modern. In residential architecture, with its range of design demands, his design philosophy came into its full range.

Neutra's house for Dr. P.M. Lovell, built in 1928, brought him international recognition. He called it the Health House because, beyond having a differentiated outdoor play and recreation areas, the structure is brought into a close relationship with the health factors of nature. Located on a landscaped, steeply-terraced hill, it has views of the Pacific Ocean, the Santa Monica mountains, and at night the city of Los Angeles illuminated in the foreground. Recently the house was featured in the film LA Confidential.

From Neutra's many outstanding residences, two present themselves boldly in his adopted California: the Desert House designed in 1946 for Edgar Kaufmann, set in the hot arid desert surrounding Palm Springs, and two years later, the Tremaine House in the sweeping, tree-shaded, rock-strewn meadowland of Montecito. Both have pinwheel plans with the living-dining area at the hub; wings of one-room depth, designed to obtain natural light with views on at least two exposures, extend outwards and open to terraces and patios that in turn merge into the rich garden landscape. They respond quite lyrically to their natural surroundings, without ever compromising their architectonic integrity.

Neutra believed that the architect should strive for a response to space and time that may be only fleeting, yet in its intensity becomes truly memorable. Both houses have such: a chance reflection in the pool, or glass in shadow; the roof hovering above the sunset, or the rustle of leaves.

Selected Architects: Gregory Ain | Stiles Clements | Charles Eames | A. Quincy Jones |
Raymond Kappe | Pierre Koenig | John Lautner | Clifford May | Richard Neutra | Rudolph
M. Schindler
| Raphael Soriano | Frank Lloyd Wright | Lloyd Wright

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