The Oyler House: Richard Neutra Documentary by Mike Dorsey

I’m a big believer in the idea of great design being long lasting, which is why we often highlight classic work next to those projects that are slightly more contemporary and recent. The two will always feed into one another in my opinion and it’s somewhat fascinating to look back and see how the great designers and makers of the past would have done things. One individuals who’s also been bitten by this bug is filmmaker Mike Dorsey, who’s taken on the task of compiling a documentary on the late, great architect Richard Neutra who remains a firm favourite here in our office.

I was delighted to learn of Mike’s film that doesn’t yet have a release date but is due to conclude sometime next year. The doc focuses on the Olyer House built in 1959 out in the Long Pine desert of California, and includes interviews of the former owner of the house and close friend to Neutra it would seem. Neutra’s son Raymond also offers his opinion and further insight into his dad’s work so the project should go a long way in highlighting the man behind the legacy within its 45 minute running time.

Mike’s thrown a selection of teasers up on his Vimeo profile in the past few months as he works away on the project, so I’ve bundled two of these across here today as a means of an introduction to a few of you. Neutra is someone who’s featured quite heavily in our content here, given his eye for architecture that looks to harness its natural surroundings and focus upon the efficiency of how each space within is utilised. What we don’t often get to hear of however is the stories and the people that use these designed spaces, so projects like these are a rare first hand justification of the famed work of Richard Neutra.

The second video below highlights the amount of respect the family had for Richard and his designs, not wanting to alter too much and keep the design as it was initially intended. To entertain the children in the summer they wanted to add a pool to the desert retreat but had to consider what would look best alongside Neutra’s masterpiece, as the architect was away on work in Europe. What they ended up with is quite remarkable and the whole story is quite endearing, so I hope this and many others make the cut. Don’t let me spoil it for you though, press play below and see what you think for yourself. For an update on the project and to see further work from Mike Dorsey visit the link below.

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