Rudolph Schindler & the Kings Road House

Last night I attended a lecture by Judith Sheine, the head of the University of Oregon Architecture Department, about Rudolph Schindler and the Kings Road House.  Schindler was born in Vienna, but came to America with the hope of working for Frank Lloyd Wright in his Chicago studio, which he did beginning in 1918. In 1920 Wright sent Schindler to Los Angeles to oversee the building of the Hollyhock House and Schindler decided to stay and started his own practice in 1922 with the creation of his own home, the Kings Road House.  

The Kings Road House is now over 100 years old and is being preserved by the Friends of the Schindler House which holds Judith as an active member of its board. Summarizing the main talking points of her new book “Schindler, Kings Road, and Southern California Modernism”, Judith counters that not only is the Schindler's home the precedent for California Modernist Architecture but also that he influenced many of the most noteworthy architects of his day and ours from Richard Neutra to Morphosis.  What resonated with me the most about Schindler, was that although there was continual reinvention and a willingness to incorporate new materials there was always a consistency in his principles of design and spatial characteristics. 

California Modern Architecture Exhibit

A. Quincy Jones: Building for Better Living; Sunnylands, Palm Springs, California; Photography by Julius Shulman and Juergen Nogai, 2007; © Juergen NogaiThis sounds so exciting! I'm a huge fan of California Modernism and this upcoming exhibit seems like it would be a whirlwind of information & eye candy. From a posting on ArchDaily,  The Getty Trust is partnering with Pacific Standard Time to present 11 individual exhibitions throughout LA’s museums that will explore the history and heritage of the city’s modern architecture and its influential designers.  Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in LA will explore this diversity that covers post World War II architecture through today with specific points of view ranging in architectural style, influence and decade.  The exhibitions, which will run from April through July 2013, are a follow-up to last year’s Pacific Standard Time: Art in LA, 1945-1980. The focus of the exhibitions will range in scale and cover the monumental and everyday architectural moments that make LA unique.  Exhibitions will present iconic modernist homes and cultural landmarks as well as coffee shops, car washes, and the freeways in addition to  the un-built architectural fantasies of modernism and post-modernism. If you time it right you can hit almost half of the exhibits!

Windshield Perspective (A+D Architecture and Design Museum: April 18th – June 23rd) brings the unconscious experience of driving through one of LA’s busiest roadways, Beverly Boulevard, into a sight.  Through choreographed photographs that freeze the nuanced experience of driving along the dense and disorderly corridor, the exhibit reveals the details that fall out of sight for those drivers and passengers that have an impersonal experience with the context.   The exhibit designed as a lens that magnifies and clarifies the everyday city landscape and brings its unnoticed elements to light.

Outside In (Art, Design, & Architecture Museum, UC Santa Barbara: April 13th – June 16th) looks at one of LA’s architecture firms that expresses the attitude of postwar California.  The exhibition reveals Whitney Smith and Wayne Williams’ approach to architecture as it relates to the environment in their residential, commercial and public buildings, as well as parks and master plans.

A. Quincy Jones (Hammer Museum: May 25th – September 8th) will be the first exhibition to closely examine the LA-based architect’s work, paying close attention to the collaborative nature of his projects.  For forty years, Jones worked at refining postwar housing for the middle class using cost-effective, innovative, and sustainable building methods.  His forward thinking led him to design homes with shared green spaces, varied home models and non-grid based site planning.

Overdrive: L.A. Constructs the Future, 1940-1990 (J. Paul Getty Museum: April 9th – July 21st) takes a comprehensive look at LA’s 20th century rapid development following WWII.  It will explore LA’s trajectory into one of the most influential economic and creative capital through photographs, drawings, models, films and contemporary art.  The themes of this exhibition will cover car culture, urban networks, engines of innovation, community magnets and Southern California’s residential architecture.

In Focus: Ed Ruscha (J. Paul Getty Museum April 9th – September 29th) will explore the artist’s engagement with vernacular architecture and the urban landscape.  The exhibition will show his paintings, prints, drawings and photographs to express his attitude towards the city and its development.  The motifs of Ruscha’s work reveal an interest in the lively essence of everyday architecture and urban elements: gas stations, apartment buildings, logos, and signage.

Technology & Environment (Kellogg University Art Gallery, Cal Poly Pomona: April 11th – June 12th) will examine the postwar housing and its gradual change of design as influenced by necessity as well as construction materials and methods.  It will cover the Case Study House program that included Richard Neutra, Raphael Soriano, Craig Ellwood, and Pierre Koenig; the modern architectural tradition of Rudolph Schindler, John Lautner and Ray Kappe; and the post-modern architecture of Charles Moore and .  The exhibition will explore how technology and tradition influence the way that the language and style of architecture developed in LA.

The Presence of the Past (LACMA: June 9th – September 15th) will focus on the proposed future of LACMA’s campus with master plans by Rem Koolhaas and Peter Zumthor’s reconsideration of the east campus.  In three parts, the exhibition will explore the considerations of the designs, the history of the proposals and the influences on the design from the architects’ past projects and influences.

Stephen Prina: As He Remembered It (LACMA April 7th – August 4th) explores the influence between LA’s modernist architecture and its contemporary art.  Prina’s work will explore the themes of site-specificity, personal history and the unreliability of memory.

Everything Loose Will Land (MAK Center: May 9th – August 4th) will look at LA’s artistic relationships in the 1970s when artists’ and architects’ ideas converged and collaborated to yield developments in both fields that challenged conventional and traditional values.  The exhibition posits that the “looseness” of LA provided the perfect medium for the developments that emerged through this process.

A New Sculpturalism (MOCA: June 2nd – September 2nd) will look at the radical forms that have seeped into LA’s architecture over the last 25 years.  The exhibition begins its focus in 1980s when the new wave of “post”-post-modernism was taking form.  It will also focus on the practitioners of the 1990s and their avant-garge approaches in the theoretical and technical realm.

A Confederacy of Heretics (SCI-Arc: March 29th – July 7th) focuses on the brief period of time when influential LA architect, Thom Mayne held a temporary gallery in his home.  It will include models, drawings and media  that had been presented in the original 1979 exhibitions.


Work by SWATT MIERS out of California. Beautiful examples of a wood, glass, stone pallette that melds into the site and topography of the project. The use of old school models is very inspiring and would be wonderful for a client to understand the concept and progress.