Dictionary of Art and Artists



 

 


History of

Architecture and Sculpture

 
 

 

 
 

 
 

CONTENTS:

 
 

PART ONE
THE ANCIENT WORLD
PREHISTORIC ART
EGYPTIAN ART

ANCIENT NEAR EASTERN ART
AEGEAN ART
GREEK ART
ETRUSCAN ART
ROMAN ART
EARLY CHRISTIAN AND BYZANTINE ART

PART TWO
THE MIDDLE AGES
EARLY MEDIEVAL ART
ROMANESQUE ART
GOTHIC ART

PART THREE
THE RENAISSANCE THROUGH THE ROCOCO
LATE GOTHIC
THE EARLY RENAISSANCE IN ITALY
THE HIGH RENAISSANCE IN ITALY
MANNERISM AND OTHER TRENDS
THE RENAISSANCE IN THE NORTH
THE BAROQUE IN ITALY AND SPAIN
THE BAROQUE IN FLANDERS AND HOLLAND
THE BAROQUE
THE ROCOCO

PART FOUR
THE MODERN WORLD
NEOCLASSICISM AND ROMANTICISM
REALISM AND IMPRESSIONISM
POST-IMPRESSIONISM, SYMBOLISM, AND ART NOUVEAU

PART FIVE
TWENTIETH-CENTURY
TWENTIETH-CENTURY SCULPTURE
TWENTIETH-CENTURY ARCHITECTURE


INDEX
FIGURES


 

 
 

 
 

CHAPTER THREE
 

TWENTIETH-CENTURY ARCHITECTURE
 

Part I. ARCHITECTURE - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10,
Part II. ARCHITECTURE - 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20,
Part III. ARCHITECTURE - 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29
 

 


ARCHITECTURE
 

 

Radical changes can stimulate or stunt growth,- for Los Angeles after the Second World War, however, the future looked most promising. Its harbour had become the most important base along the American West Coast. Its legendary film studios and its oil industry were joined by new, innovative businesses such as the aviation industry. Hundreds of thousands streamed into the sun-filled valley, which experienced the largest real-estate boom in its history. Orange plantations gave way to endless rows of uniform detached houses, built by leading development companies in the levelled landscape. Traffic organization within this rapidly expanding man-made environment was based on the 1940 design by the Los Angeles Regional Planning Commission: a generalized network of highways covering the city.

An extreme, but not unusual, example of the speed and scale of post-war building was Lakewood Park, a suburb of 17,000 houses for some 70,000 people commissioned by development tycoon Louis Boyar. First, 133 miles of road were built into the countryside, then houses erected, assembly-line style, on both sides. Small, specialized teams operated machines which dug each set of foundations in just fifteen minutes. Wooden walls and ceilings were delivered prefabricated, merely requiring on-site assembly. Finally, conveyor belts moved into the blocks for the tiling of the roofs. There were even machines for hanging doors. Up to 100 houses might be completed in a day,- 10,000 were built in the first two years. The results were dreary houses, their uninspired plans repeated ad nauseum in boring rows on levelled ground without beginning or end.

At the same time, plans by a young generation, which saw architecture as a social responsibility and an essential element of modern, democratic urbanism, ay idle on drawing-boards. Their designs had less to do with the normative urban Utopias of the thirties than with comprehensible model solutions. Their inspiration was not Le Corbusier's "Ville radieuse" or Frank Lloyd Wright's "Broadacre City", but examples such as Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's apartment house in the Stuttgart Weifienhof Estate - steel-frame construction with flexible plans, the open apartment on a generous scale.

Support was no more to be expected from speculative construction companies than from public funds. It was left to John Entenza, committed publisher of the magazine "arts & architecture", to translate new, unused ideas into practice. He succeeded, entirely without subsidy, in setting up the "Case Study House Program". In January 1945 he himself commissioned eight designs by promising architects, which were to be advertised as prototypes and made available to an interested public. After three years, a total of six detached houses had been completed and viewed by 370,000 curious visitors.

The results of the Program ore among the best built in California at that time despite the considerable limitations affecting design. Materials newly developed or improved during the War and which could have been used for experimentation, were simply not on the market. In the early years, therefore, construction was restricted to the use of the sole available material, namely wood Floor areas, too were still regulated. All the more surprising, then, was the generosity achieved by these economical, unpretentious houses. They looked away from the street into private inner courtyards without losing their relationship to the surrounding landscape. The kitchens were not small separate closets but were integrated into the living area and thus formed a part of the flowing spatial continuum. Although standardized building components were developed no serial production of any magnitude took place,- it involved too much effort and expense. The use of conventional industrial semi-finished products proved more successful.

The first steel-frame construction to be built within the "Case Study House Program" was the house of designers Ray and Charles Eames in the Santa Monica Canyon. Using elements from the industrial sector for the construction was not in itself unusual, but to show them openly and thereby to achieve elegance was new. An important role in this respect was played by the interior, which featured Eero Saarinen's softly curving "womb chairs" and laminated wood models from Eames' "plywood group", particularly admired by visitors. The immediate post-war years also saw the development of housing models on a co-operative basis. Many of these initiatives were defeated, however, by "Regulation X", which was intended to prevent racial mixing in city districts and thus made impossible any joint projects by Whites and Blacks.

Outstanding architects such as Craig Ellwood, Raphael Soriano, Pierre Koenig and Richard Neutra managed to find sponsors and commissions which were subject to fewer restrictions. Neutra in particular developed a new, much-imitated type in his villa designs: clear, far-reaching masses with extensive glazing, striking sun reflectors and effectively-positioned mirror walls produce subtle, provocative mixtures of interior and nature. Entrances remain reserved and without magnanimous architectural gesture,- but upon opening the unassuming and often hidden door, the gaze falls across the interior to the glass walls on the opposite side and into the landscape. Neutra felt that only architecture built in harmony with its surroundings could serve as a "harbour for the soul", that happiness could only be found in a place which contained "a slice of eternity". Anything fashionable was taboo since only in this way could real art be produced in architecture with a social conscience.

 


Richard Neutra.
 

 


Richard Joseph Neutra

Richard Joseph Neutra, (born April 8, 1892, Vienna, Austria—died April 16, 1970, Wuppertal, W.Ger.), Austrian-born American architect known for his role in introducing the International Style into American architecture.

Educated at the Technical Academy, Vienna, and the University of Zürich, Neutra, with the German architect Erich Mendelsohn, won an award in 1923 for a city-planning project for Haifa, Palestine (now in Israel). Neutra moved to the United States the same year, working briefly for the firm of Holabird and Roche in Chicago and at Taliesin in Spring Green, Wis., with Frank Lloyd Wright.

Neutra’s most important early work was the Lovell House, Los Angeles (1927–29), which has glass expanses and cable-suspended balconies and is stylistically similar to the work of Le Corbusier and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in Europe. Throughout the 1930s he designed houses in the International Style.

Shortly after World War II, Neutra created his most memorable works: the Kaufmann Desert House, Palm Springs, Calif. (1946–47), and the Tremaine House, Santa Barbara, Calif. (1947–48). Elegant and precise, these houses are considered exceptionally fine examples of the International Style. Carefully placed in the landscape, Neutra’s houses often have patios or porches that make the outdoors seem part of the house. He believed that architecture should be a means of bringing man back into harmony with nature and with himself and was particularly concerned that his houses reflect the way of life of the owner.

During the 1950s and ’60s Neutra’s works included office buildings, churches, buildings for colleges and universities, housing projects, and cultural centres. After 1966 he was in partnership with his son, the firm name becoming Richard and Dion Neutra Architects and Associates. He died while on a tour of Europe. Among his voluminous writings are Survival Through Design (1954), Life and Human Habitat (1956), and an autobiography, Life and Shape (1962).
 

Encyclopædia Britannica
 

 



Richard Joseph Neutra. "Health House", Villa for Philip Lovell in Los Angeles,
California, 1927-1929





Plan





Richard Joseph Neutra. "Health House". Interior view




Richard Joseph Neutra. "Strathmore Apartments"
Apartment house in Westwood, California, 1937




Richard Joseph Neutra. Weston House in Los Angeles, California, 1952-1954





Richard Joseph Neutra. Kaufmann House in Palm Springs, California, 1946-1947




Richard Joseph Neutra. Kaufmann House in Palm Springs




Richard Joseph Neutra. Kaufmann House in Palm Springs




Kaufmann House in Palm Springs. Plan




Richard Joseph Neutra. Kramer House, Norco, California, 1953





Richard Joseph Neutra. House Atwell, El Cerrito,
California, 1948





Richard Joseph Neutra. Moore House, Ojai, California, 1950-1952





Richard Joseph Neutra. Eogle Rock Clubhouse in Los Angeles,
California, 1950-1952

 
 

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