Richard Neutra, 1892-1970: Survival through Design, 25th Anniversary Edition
(Born and raised in Vienna, Richard Neutra (1872-1970) cam...)
Born and raised in Vienna, Richard Neutra (1872-1970) came to America early in his career, settling in California. His influence on post-war architecture is undisputed, the sunny climate and rich landscape being particularly suited to his cool, sleek modern style. Neutra had a keen appreciation for the relationship between people and nature; his trademark plate glass walls and ceilings which turn into deep overhangs have the effect of connecting the indoors with the outdoors. Neutra's ability to incorporate technology, aesthetics, science, and nature into his designs him recognition as one of Modernist architecture's greatest talents.
Form Follows Libido: Architecture and Richard Neutra in a Psychoanalytic Culture (MIT Press)
How modern architecture came to embrace the urges and f...)
How modern architecture came to embrace the urges and fears of the affective unconscious.
"Eight million Americans a year cool their heels in psychiatric waiting rooms. Design can help lower this nervous overhead." -- Richard Neutra, 1954
Sylvia Lavin's Form Follows Libido argues that by the 1950s, some architects felt an urge to steer the cool abstraction of high modernism away from a neutral formalism toward the production of more erotic, affective environments. Lavin turns to the architecture of Richard Neutra (1892-1970) to explore the genesis of these new mood-inducing environments. In a series of engaging essays weaving through the designs and writings of this Vienna-born, California-based architect, Lavin discovers in Neutra a sustained and poignant psychoanalytic reflection set in the context of a burgeoning psychoanalytic culture in America.
Lavin shows that Neutra's redirection of modernism constituted not a lyrical regression to sentimentality but a deliberate advance of architectural theory and technique to engage the unconscious mind, fueled by the ideas of psychoanalysis that were being rapidly disseminated at the time. In Neutra's responses to a vivid range of issues, from psychoanalysis proper to the popular psychology of tele-evangelical prayer, Lavin uncovers a radical reconstitution of the architectural discipline.
Arguing persuasively that the received historical views of both psychoanalysis and architecture have led to a suppression of their compelling coincidences and unorthodoxies, Lavin sets out to unleash midcentury architecture's hidden libido. Neither Neutra nor psychoanalysis emerges unscathed from her investigation of how architecture came to be saturated by the intrigues of affect, often against its will. If Reyner Banham sought to put architecture "on the couch," then Lavin, through Neutra, leaps beyond Banham's ameliorative aim to lure contemporary architecture into the lush and dangerous liaisons of environmental design.
The quintessential California Modernist: Richard Neutra...)
The quintessential California Modernist: Richard Neutra and his search for modern architecture
Originally from Vienna,
Richard Neutra came to America early in his career, settling in California.
His influence on post-war architecture is undisputed, the sunny climate and rich landscape being particularly suited to his cool, sleek modern style.
Neutra had a keen appreciation for the relationship between people and nature; his trademark plate glass walls and ceilings which turn into deep overhangs have the effect of connecting the indoors with the outdoors. His ability to incorporate technology, aesthetic, science, and nature into his designs brought him to the forefront of Modernist architecture.
In this volume, all of Neutras works
(nearly 300 private homes, schools, and public buildings) are gathered together, illustrated by over 1,000 photographs, including those of
Julius Shulman and other prominent photographers.
Text in English, French, and German
Richard Joseph Neutra was an Austrian-American architect. Living and building for the majority of his career in Southern California, he came to be considered among the most important modernist architects.
Neutra was born in Leopoldstadt, the 2nd district of Vienna, Austria, on April 8, 1892 into a wealthy Jewish family.
His Jewish-Hungarian father Samuel Neutra (1844–1920) was a proprietor of a metal foundry, and his mother, Elizabeth "Betty" Glaser Neutra (1851–1905) was a member of the IKG Wien. Richard had two brothers who also emigrated to the United States, and a sister who married in Vienna.
Neutra attended the Sophiengymnasium in Vienna until 1910, and he studied under Adolf Loos at the Vienna University of Technology (1910–1918). He was a student of Max Fabiani and Karl Mayreder.
In June 1914, Neutra's studies were interrupted when he was ordered to Trebinje; he served as a lieutenant in the artillery in the balkans until the end of the war. He took a leave in 1917 to return to the Technische Hochschule to take his final examinations.
He graduated from the Polytechnical College of Vienna in 1917 and continued his studies at the University of Zürich. Zurich.
In 1921 he moved to Lukenwalde, Germany, to serve in the Municipal Building Office.
Part of his architectural apprenticeship was served in the office of Erich Mendelsohn, a modern German expressionist.
Neutra moved to the United States by 1923 and became a naturalized citizen in 1929. Neutra worked briefly for Frank Lloyd Wright before accepting an invitation from his close friend and university companion Rudolf Schindler to work and live communally in Schindler's Kings Road House in California.
The next year he became associated with Erich Mendelsohn in the design of the Business Center in Haifa, Palestine.
Neutra emigrated to the United States in 1923, joining the Chicago firm of Holabird and Roche.
At the same time he met Frank Lloyd Wright and began working at Wright's Wisconsin home, "Taliesin. "
The house is constructed of thin steel elements cantilevered over a ravine; the entire structure is supported from above by steel cables.
Neutra was responsible for the entire project, from the overall plan to thespecific details such as redwood trim.
Although the units were identical, he succeeded in individualizing them by varying the placement of each house in accordance with its particular terrain.
Neutra designed a number of private homes in southern California.
Among them was the Kaufmann (now Lisk) House in Palm Springs; here by brilliantly integrating the house with its desert site, Neutra reached a high point in his domestic style.
In 1935 his open-air schools for the Board of Education of Los Angeles, with patios off the classrooms, established a precedent in planning; his 1942 Channel Heights housing project in San Pedro, California, was for years unequaled.
A motel complex at Malibu Beach, Californnia (1955), which overlooks the Pacific, is characteristic of Neutra's ambition to express as vividly and simply as possible the relationship between a structure and its natural surroundings.
He subsequently developed his own practice and went on to design numerous buildings embodying the International Style, twelve of which are designated as Historic Cultural Monuments (HCM), including the Lovell Health House (HCM #123; 1929) and the Richard and Dion Neutra VDL Research House (HCM #640; 1966).
In California, he became celebrated for rigorously geometric but airy structures that symbolized a West Coast variation on the mid-century modern residence. Clients included Edgar J. Kaufmann, Galka Scheyer, and Walter Conrad Arensberg.
In the early 1930s, Neutra's Los Angeles practice trained several young architects who went on to independent success, including Gregory Ain, Harwell Hamilton Harris, and Raphael Soriano.
In 1932, he tried to move to the Soviet Union, to help design workers' housing that could be easily constructed, as a means of helping with the housing shortage.
In 1955, the United States Department of State commissioned Neutra to design a new embassy in Karachi. Neutra's appointment was part of an ambitious program of architectural commissions to renowned architects, which included embassies by Walter Gropius in Athens, Edward Durrell Stone in New Delhi, Marcel Breuer in The Hague, Josep Lluis Sert in Baghdad, and Eero Saarinen in London.
Between 1960 and 1970, Neutra created eight villas in Europe, four in Switzerland, three in Germany, and one in France. Prominent clients in this period included Gerd Bucerius, publisher of Die Zeit, as well as figures from commerce and science.
How modern architecture came to embrace the urges and f...)
His work is concerned mainly with facilitating physical and mental well-being.
Neutra (1851–1905) was a member of the IKG Wien.
He was greatly influenced by the buildings and writings of a contemporary Viennese architect, Adolf Loos, one of the pioneers of the modern movement in Europe.
He married Dione Niedermann, the daughter of an architect, in 1922. They had three sons, Frank L ( 1924-2008), Dion ( 1926-) an architect and his father's partner and Raymond Richard ( 1939-) a physician and environmental epidemiologist.