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Scott says: Austrian Jewish immigrant Richard Neutra spent the better part of his life in Southern California, where he designed more than 300 homes, mostly in an international modernist style with a West Coast vibe. Some of Neutra’s clients were as impressive as the architect: Walter von Arensberg, the American critic, poet, and collector; department store magnate Edgar J. Kaufmann, who commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright’s spectacular Fallingwater house; and Phillip Lovell, the eccentric physician and Los Angeles Times health columnist who had medical demonstration rooms, nude sunbathing porches, and a kitchen designed specifically for vegetarian cooking in his house. Neutra might not stand out like Wright in the field of 20th-century architecture, but he’s still a giant you can’t miss.

In the architecture of Richard Neutra (1892-1970), inside and outside find their perfect modernist harmony. As the Californian sun glints off sleek building surfaces, vast glass panel walls allow panoramic views over mountains, gardens, palm trees, and pools.

Neutra moved to the United States from his native Vienna in 1923 and settled in Los Angeles. He displayed his affinity with architectural settings early on with the Lovell House, set on a landscaped hill with views of the Pacific Ocean and Santa Monica Mountains. Later projects such as the Kaufmann House and Nesbitt House would continue this blend of art, landscape, and living comfort, with Neutra's clients often receiving detailed questionnaires to define their precise needs.

This richly illustrated architect introduction presents the defining projects of Neutra's career. As crisp structures nestle amid natural wonders, we celebrate a particularly holistic brand of modernism which incorporated the ragged lines and changing colors of nature as much as the pared down geometries of the International Style.


About the series

Born back in 1985, the Basic Art Series has evolved into the best-selling art book collection ever published. Each book in TASCHEN's Basic Architecture series features:

an introduction to the life and work of the architect

the major works in chronological order

information about the clients, architectural preconditions as well as construction problems and resolutions

a list of all the selected works and a map indicating the locations of the best and most famous buildings

approximately 120 illustrations (photographs, sketches, drafts, and plans)

Publication Date: 
March 19, 2016