Monday, April 7, 2008

Neutra for Sale - Asking $3.5 million

Now Richard Neutra’s original office in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Silverlake is for sale with an asking price of $3.5 million. The one-story building, designed by Neutra himself in 1950, continued to serve as his firm’s office after his 1970 death. His son, Dion, continued the practice until the 1990’s.

There are a few of us who would love living in one of those flat roof wonders of residential architecture in Los Angeles. It seems that Michael Govans, the Executive Director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), has his own answer. He has proposed moving the museum out from the museum center, into the community. The New York Times reports that Govan hopes to engage on a curatorial project "to collect houses":
    His idea – one that has rarely, if ever, been tried on a large scale by a major museum – is to collect significant pieces of midcentury residential architecture, including houses by Rudolf M. Schindler, Richard Neutra, Frank Lloyd Wright and his son Lloyd Wright, and to treat them as both museum objects and as residences for curators.
Govan himself explains:
    "It started with an effort to rethink the museum, looking at the resources that are both locally powerful and internationally relevant," he said. "It's clear that the most important architecture in Los Angeles is largely its domestic architecture. I've talked certainly to a number of people who have interesting architecture, and I’m beginning to talk to other people about raising funds to preserve these works."
We like the idea that it would also be architectural history exhibiting itself in itself, collapsing the distinction between the exhibition space and what that space displays.

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