At his memorial exhibition the written tribute referred to Rudolph Schindler as "the least understood of the American pioneers of modern architecture." However, his work continues to inspire and enthrall. Born in 1887 in Vienna, he had studied both engineering and painting and was interested in the work of Cubist painters. An admiration for Wright's work and an excitement for the opportunity in America drew him to Chicago in 1914.Three years later he joined Wright's office. Schindler was sent to Los Angeles in 1920 to supervise the construction of the Hollyhock House. Once completed, he remained in Los Angeles to start his own practice.

Where houses had a limited budget Schindler sought economy in structure, so that he could provide what he considered the vital luxury of three types of living areas: indoors, enclosed court or patio, and roof terraces--each relating directly to the other. In his design for the Lovell House in 1926 he used structure as a visible organizer within which solids were placed and space penetrated. The living space, above a beach, was contained within five, free-standing reinforced concrete skeletal frames, In the design of the Wolfe House on a steep hillside in 1929, Schindler abandoned the conventional conception of a house as a carved mass of honeycomb material protruding from the hillside, and created a composition of space units to float above the hill.

In the 1930s Schindler developed a preference for using skin construction as opposed to a structural skeleton, because of the flexibility by which forms might be organized without having to respect a structural grid. Through this freedom, he felt, modern architecture might achieve what the past had referred to as "style."

The Rodakiewicz House in Los Angeles, in 1937, was a fine example of Schindler's spatial ideas of form and movement. In his later projects, some of the crispness of his earlier work was lost as the overall forms became more fragmented.

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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