No longer are the architectural plans of mid-century master Richard Neutra merely curatorial elements of an architectural exhibition. Now, courtesy of a new partnership between Dion Neutra (Richard’s long-time partner in the Neutra Office), California Architecture Conservancy (CAC) and the Neutra Office, those plans can serve as the basis for your new home.
Neutra (1892-1970), who is perhaps the most important of the mid-century modernist architects, if not of the Twentieth Century as a whole, became famous for the simple geometries of his designs, which were often made of steel and glass, and the prefabricated elements that made them extremely easy to build with a modernist look. Several of his built designs were demolished or remodeled to the extent that they can no longer be considered true “Neutras.” And many more were drawn up, but never built.
For the first time, these designs of the past can be now built today. “Neutra’s designs are timeless, and they are just as relevant and compelling today, as when they were created a half a century ago”, says CAC partner, Ari Chazanas, whose family has owned, since 1972, the eight-unit Strathmore Apartments designed and built by Richard Neutra in 1937, and located in the Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles. “There was only one Richard Neutra and his legacy will live on for many generations. It has been a dream come true to be entrusted with the responsibility of continuing his legacy.”
“These architectural designs should be enjoyed by everyone; not only by those who live in them, but also by passers-by. We want everyone to appreciate the beauty and purity of these designs,” adds CAC partner, Jamie Mazur, whose interest in modernist architecture exponentially grew when he bought one of Richard Dorman’s (of the USC School of Architecture) homes in Beverly Hills.
For the price of what one would customarily pay for an architect to design and render supervising architectural services, you can build one of the mid-century modernist master’s works of art and have Dion Neutra and the Neutra Office supervise the construction. This new partnership gives as many people as possible the opportunity to enjoy the beauty and perfection which Richard (and Dion) worked so hard to craft.
The Agency is honored to be handling the marketing and sales of the plans. Billy Rose, co-founder and President of The Agency, and an architectural expert and CAC partner, excitedly confides: “Our clients have long coveted and wished to acquire ‘Neutras’ and homes from the Case Study House Program. Under this partnership, you could build both. Imagine being able to build Neutra’s Case Study Program designs, the Alpha and the Omega [Case Study House Nos. 6 & 13], as your home or guest house!”
“This partnership derives out of our desire to preserve our history through great architecture, as well as our effort to support and foster it”, suggests CAC partner Georgiana Nikias, who is an attorney and an archaeologist, and has been involved in a number of various preservation projects. “A substantial portion of the fees will be used towards these goals.”
The timing for the launch of this partnership is particularly fortuitous as it coincides with the marking of Neutra’s 121st birthday on April 8 and with the recent release of Dion Neutra’s book The Neutra’s — Then & Later, which contains particularly insightful case histories on two dozen Neutra projects as they were “then” and what happened to them “later;” a particularly good lesson in preservation of architecture.
Contact Billy Rose at The Agency to obtain more information on how to license the right to build your own “Neutra.”