Kings Road House by R.M. Schindler, West Hollywood, Calif. (1922)
Considered to be the first house built in the Modern style, the Schindler House was such a departure from existing residential architecture because of what it did not have; there is no conventional living room, dining room or bedrooms in the house. The residence was meant to be a cooperative live/work space for two young families. The concrete walls and sliding glass panels made novel use of industrial materials, while the open floor plan integrated the external environment into the residence, setting a precedent for California architecture in particular.
The Schindler House is laid out as two interlinking “L” shaped apartments (referred to as the Schindler and Chace apartments) using the basic design of the camp site that he had seen a year before. Each apartment was designed for a separate family, consisting of 2 studios, connected by a utility room. The utility room was meant to serve the functions of a kitchen, laundry, sewing room, and storage. The four studios were originally designated for the four members of the household (Rudolf & Pauline Schindler and Clyde & Marian Chace). The house also has a guest studio with its own kitchen and bathroom.
The house, at just under 3,500 square feet (330 m2), sits on a 20,000-square-foot (1,900 m2) lot. Instead of bedrooms, there are 2 rooftop sleeping baskets. The baskets were redwood four post canopies with beams at mitered corners, protected from the rain by canvas sides.
Schindler’s friend, partner and rival, Richard Neutra, along with his wife Dione and son Frank, lived in the Chace apartment from March 1925 until the summer of 1930. Pauline Schindler left the house and her husband in August 1927; Rudolph remained at the house until his death in 1953.
The Chace apartment had a variety of famous and creative people live in it, including art dealer & collector Galka Scheyer, dancer John Bovingdon, novelist Theodore Dreiser, photographer Edward Weston and composer John Cage.
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