I recently had the chance to visit LA and fit in a quick tour of some modernist or mid-century houses. Travelling the world viewing architecture has always been a small pipe dream of mine, and alongside the Eames House, the Stahl House and a few more properties, I also penciled in a date to tour the VDL Research House by Richard Neutra. I wanted to understand the design principles of Richard Neutra and his concept of “moving planes”, this idea that consists of interior elements continuing through to the outside, connecting and blurring the lines between interior and exterior.
Visiting this experimental home is a totally different experience to seeing the photographs online or in books, you can really appreciate the timeless value and aura around such a property. One of the areas of the build which is particularly appealing is the penthouse, a space that was originally open to the elements but was later enclosed with glass to be used all year round. This third floor room is probably where one of the most iconic photographs of Richard Neutra was taken, in black and white with him sitting on the balcony.
In this building Neutra paid particular attention to the Silver Lake Reservoir opposite the home, bringing your eye sight in line with the waters edge from each plane. This top area is now being used as a space to exhibit art work and express ideas on modern architecture. Luis Callejas of LCLA Office is showing at the moment, and he’s created Veiled textile drawings, re-inserted into the domestic space of the house, in collaboration with textile artist Charlotte Hansson. These curtains are made from silk and feature drawings of the surrounding landscape to insinuate the connection between the indoors and outdoors. Not only is this house a fantastic piece of design, it’s also a great place for creativity and I’m glad they’re using it to promote work of a similar nature. If you’re in LA anytime soon I’d definitely recommend a visit as you’re sure to be captivated.