Neutra VDL

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scottkaycee
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Postby scottkaycee » Wed Sep 29, 2004 12:43 pm

The Neutra book is amazing, but you have to make an appointment to read it , no spontaneous flip thrus, I have to use my drafting table to open it. I found the text so-so on that one, the essays are good but the text accompaning the photos in most cases is too brief. As for the Shiene books, I used the Academy edition at school alot but never bought it because it was a collection of papers as opposed to a linear monograph. The GG version is a great pocketsize companion , and the glossier 2g Magazine Schindler 10 houses has great photos, and the same essay as the GG pocketsize. Unfortunately the Phaidon book is lacking, this is no fault of Shiene, she was writing the book while I was at school, gave lectures verbatim from the text, but Phaidon skimped on the production value, unlike the excellent A. Quincy Jones volume of the same series, this Schindler book is printed on matte paper, and the illustrations are far too small for the format. I have yet to buy it although I am bound to get around to it anyway

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Postby SDR » Wed Sep 29, 2004 1:28 pm

kev -- yessir -- enjoy 'em while you can -- Bubeshko ceilings (knotty pine!) go 'thru' the glass (many architects have done that with walls, but. . another one for our boy) and there seems to be an up-down light
feature at the soffit. . .lucky you. . .serendipity happens!

scott -- It's always disappointing when an expensive book gives skimpy illustrations. . .for the sake of a design decision? or are larger plates really
more expensive, still? I bought a magnifying glass to read the greatly-
reduced working drawings reproduced in the A.D.A. Edita/Futagawa
Wright monographs of a few years back. . .(maybe the Protectors of
Wright were fending off unauthorized use of the drawings??)

The Neutra book is that monster with the wood-grain cover? I haven't
looked at it. . .does it have good reproductions of his pencil renderings?
I was amazed at the subtlety and richness of these little gems when I got to see some in the flesh, at the Case Study show in '88.

SDR

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scottkaycee
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Postby scottkaycee » Wed Sep 29, 2004 1:45 pm

It really takes an act of congress to open that book, but for the most part the illustrations are Mr. Shulman's glorius photographs. All of the plans are redrawn in a miniscule cad-like format, and there are few reproductions of his renderings.

An interesting aside, in VDL I (pre-fire) he would work from his second floor bedroom, in pajamas and tie, on a large lap board on those hauntingly beautiful renderings. (Some of which are reproduced exsquisitely in the even more gargantuan Case Study Houses book by Taschen) Associates could transport the work to him via a dumbwaiter in the closet! He would even greet clients in his pajamas and tie. There is a picture of him with his commercial partner Bob Alexander in the Thomas Hines Neutra Book at their Glendale Blvd. office, outside anyway and you can clearly see the pajama top with tie.

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Postby L.A.kevin » Wed Sep 29, 2004 3:05 pm

How often do you see a book with all the work of an architect laid out? The accompanying text may seem a slight bit thin, but then when if you were to lay it all out, I'm sure you'd have a pretty sizable volume. It is meant as an accompaniment to the photos and drawings, many of which were sourced during Barbara Lamprecht's cataloging of the Neutra archives. Many were not published anywhere else.

I spoke with Ms. Lamprecht last weekend and she is working on a new book that deals with Neutra's ideas of psychology and architecture. Also, Barbara has a much easier to deal with book on Neutra. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/de ... ct-details

If you like drawings, you need to check out that one. Lots of great renderings.

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Postby scottkaycee » Wed Sep 29, 2004 3:26 pm

Usually "complete works" are multi-volume, which I think would have worked well, so I concede that point to you it was certainly an ambitious undertaking for which all involved deserve much praise, that having been said as a friendly nit picker; some entries have no images whatsoever. The neutra book you mention, is there new material in that? Or is it a condensed version of the larger book.

I am excited at future projects by that author, she's a charming lady and my comments were in no way aimed at her, I found her texts satisfying.

I have a love hate relationship with that book, I wish I could climb into it.(you practically can) My beef is the impracticality at repeat reading, I love to re-read my books over and over again, obviously this is tougher to do with the jumbo series, I should buy that Neutra book you recommended for that very reason. it is a fantastic book, definitely one of the most audacious, I suppose it creates a suction in it's wake that reduces the amount of material on Neutra. When you consider how many recent publications on Schindler, and the realtive lack of new publications on Neutra, in fact I have the Taschen mini books on Lautner, and Schindler because they had a different take as opposed to the more "accepted" works on the same subject. Since the smaller Neutra was by the same author I assumed it was a condensed version. Like the recent paper back of Alan Hess' The Architecture of John Lautner which was not only smaller but seemed to have some images edited out of it but was essentially the same book. I will have to rexamine the smaller Neutra book.

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Postby L.A.kevin » Wed Sep 29, 2004 3:42 pm

The small one is a completely different book. Different photos, lots of color. Different renderings. Barbara touches on what she is going to be covering in the new book, with the motives behind Neutra's work.

The big Neutra book is handy when I do my architecture spotting around town here. I keep copies of Gebhard's Architectural Guide to Los Angeles with me, and anytime I'm in a different area, I check out what's there. When I get home, the Neutra book is great for being able to see the inside of just about every place I'm likely to run across. It's almost like being there.

BTW, Scott and SDR, Ken McCown has been talking about having an invitation party at the VDL and showing some movies of Neutra and Dione during it. Would you guys be interested in that if indeed it happens? Scott, It would be great to hear you and Ken discuss your experiences living at the VDL. I know you guys live out of town, so just wondering if this is something that would lure you down to LA-LA land. It would probably be a benefit with a small donation requested.

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Postby scottkaycee » Wed Sep 29, 2004 3:48 pm

Unfortunately for me I never lived at the VDL house , I was there for 4-6-8 hour shifts as a student intern, 2 days a week sometimes more. At the time the live in caretaker was a lecturer or professor of Architecture from Cal Poly. I have actually come to think of it, never been to the house at night, that might be an experience. As for attending a function there, I have yet to go back since I graduated from Cal Poly. I am of course always interested in finding out about such things, but would think an invitation would be better for someone who could give the house a more significant donation than I would be able to.

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Postby L.A.kevin » Wed Sep 29, 2004 3:54 pm

Well, the regular tours are $10. So, when I say small, that's around the magnitude. Sunset over Silverlake from the penthouse at the VDL...

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Neutra

Postby SDR » Wed Sep 29, 2004 8:06 pm

Thanks, Kevin, that might be fun -- I need an excuse for another visit -- it's
been too long (six years). I'm completely ignorant of the house, so it would be a treat to have a knowledgeable guide or two. . .

Don't get me started on Lautner! . . .ok, do. I recently dumped some old magazines including several copies of Fine Homebuilding, which has had an
occasional series on architecturally significant houses. . .there was an article on a Jack Hillmer house up here on Belvedere Island, one on Paul Schweikher's last home, in Sedona, and one on an early John Lautner House in LA (natch), the Mauer residence (1946) with specially-made
color drawings explaining the structure and details -- and I THREW THEM OUT in a rare fit of housekeepingitis! D'ohh! I don't much care for the late
flamboyant work (thought they are surely interesting, but something like the Schaffer in Montrose (where's that?), 1949, with its horizontal cladding, alternating courses of wood and glass. . .I WANNIT!

Oh, yeah, monster monographs. . .didn't they (who?) publish ALL of
Le Corbusier"s work and/or sketchbooks, in multiple volumes, a while back?

SDR

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Postby scottkaycee » Wed Sep 29, 2004 8:24 pm

Yeah, the corbu set is like 12 volumes, all cast from concrete, and together you can build your own Ronchamp with them....

You don't like late Lautner? Well nobody is perfect. I cannot get enough Lautner, a true genius who escapes the shadow of his mentor. Lautner is another one who defies photographs, which understandably makes it harder to appreciate his work. I have been fortunate to get inside several Lautners, Like a previous post said it is an advantage of living in the greater Los Angeles basin.

VDL Event-Well $10 is a very reasonable donation, I would think a nifty private soiree would fetch much more than that, when you see what the Palm Springs Mod Com (no doubt deservedly charges less I offend someone unintentionally) or the San Diego modernism folks charge for private parties it seems like a bonifide bargain. Sunset over the lake, does sound spectacular.

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Monster Monographs

Postby scottkaycee » Wed Sep 29, 2004 8:33 pm

Slightly off topic- There is a Schindler set of multiple volumes as well it's made of plywood, horizontal laid tarpaper, etc..

Actually the school library had three biggies, multiple volume, Corbu, Schindler, and Mies(I beams veneered to the corners....)

They were essentially the drawing collections of these Architects, published by the recieving institutions. The Neutra archive is split, The early period is at UCLA and the later period is at Cal Poly where he taught until he died. That was probably the reason a comprehensive set multi-volumed was never produced. Cal Poly also has the Craig Ellwood Archives as well. When I win the lottery I want to endow both the VDL and the Cal Poly archive; both deserved institutions.

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RE: Monster Monographs

Postby moderns-r-us » Thu Sep 30, 2004 6:57 am

<Actually the school library had three biggies, multiple volume, Corbu, Schindler, and Mies(I beams veneered to the corners....) >

Don't forget about the Aalto three volume set! (in the curved laminated birch veneer slip case!) .....LOL

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Smaller Neutra Book

Postby scottkaycee » Sat Oct 02, 2004 10:38 am

L.A. Kevin- Based on your recommendation I went out and bouught the Neutra mini book. At 9.99 it was a bonifide bargain, I mean a magazine practically costs that now a days. It's a great book, decent size, I wish there were more contemporary photos on Neutra, but then I suppose the intact rate is low. Thanks ffor the advice, a great little addition to my library.

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Postby L.A.kevin » Mon Oct 04, 2004 7:51 am

You are welcome.

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Postby L.A.kevin » Mon Nov 08, 2004 1:19 pm


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Postby nichols » Thu Sep 10, 2009 12:16 pm

The house looked pretty good back in 1983... if only that chubby kid would move out of the shot!
Image

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Postby home_boy » Thu Sep 10, 2009 2:06 pm

Cal Poly Pomona has a new dean at the College of Environmental Design. Michael Woo is a former L.A. City Councilman and a professional urban planner. We can only hope that he will take a more personal interest in the fate of the VDL house than previous deans and other university officials have in the past.

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Postby ackvig » Sat Sep 19, 2009 6:03 pm

After almost 5 years, a thread comes back to life. I LIKE!

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Postby Futura Girl » Sat Sep 19, 2009 9:56 pm

who is that mysterious lil' tike?

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Postby nichols » Thu Jun 03, 2010 7:40 am

FG, I've been doin' this a loooong time. ;)

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Postby nichols » Thu Jun 03, 2010 7:41 am

PRESERVATION

A Modern Dilemma
Neutra's Los Angeles Home Needs Work
By Therese Poletti | Online Only | May 17, 2010

In better economic times, the sleek steel-and-glass boxes designed by architect Richard Neutra were among the most sought-after homes among Hollywood celebrities and other aficionados of Modernism.

Yet the compound that Neutra designed for his own family in Los Angeles, where he lived and worked for more than 30 years, has fallen into disrepair...

http://www.preservationnation.org/magaz ... lemma.html


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