A Place in the Sun
The Editors -- Interior Design, 7/1/2001 12:00:00 AM
This month's issue of Interior Design is devoted to design in California. Exhibitions of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe have, at press time, just opened in New York at the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney, treating, respectively, the architect's German and American phases. But the recent retrospective of the work of Rudolf Schindler at Los Angeles's Museum of Contemporary Art reminds us that European modernism settled just as readily in the land of palm trees and swimming pools.
Schindler's disciple Richard Neutra, another European emigré, created some of the most distinctive buildings for the southern California landscape—so distinctive, in fact, that several of them make regular appearances in the movies as exemplars of pared-down Hollywood luxury. Marmol + Radziner Associate's restoration of Neutra's Lew House displays a sensitivity to the building's historical particulars as well as a pragmatic understanding of contemporary design demands. The various other residential, office, and hospitality projects featured in this issue do not conform to this streamlined modernist vision—indeed, exuberance rather than restraint is no less in evidence here. Nevertheless, most of these projects still reflect Schindler and Neutra's insistence on the importance of a structure's setting in the landscape and the free transition between interior and exterior spaces—two constants of California architecture and design.