clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Meet the 'First House in the Modern Style,' Built in 1922

New, 2 comments

Photos via Covenger & Kester

In the early 1920s, architect Rudolf Schindler submitted plans for a brand-new West Hollywood residence: two L-shaped apartments brought together by a common "utility" space. His plans included no conventional bedrooms and no dining room, and used concrete and sliding glass panels for walls and room dividers. The plans were denied. Well, Schindler was not deterred; he kept returning to the planning office, schmoozing and debating until the office gave him clearance to start construction, though they reserved the right to stop the process at any point.

Completed in 1922, Schindler House is, as Newsweek senior writer Andrew Romano puts it on his design and architecture Tumblr, the "first house built in the modern style." The radical features the zoning commission originally eschewed ultimately became commonplace in chic SoCal neighborhoods, and the project ultimately inspired some of midcentury modern's most noted architects to surge the L.A. residential sphere. The design, supposedly inspired by a camp site Schindler visited, incorporated a communal living area and "rooftop sleeping baskets" instead of bedrooms. Schindler, who worked under Frank Lloyd Wright in the 1910s, designed the 3,500-square-foot home, and his friend Clyde Chace built it. After construction, the Schindlers and the Chaces lived together there for years, and when Chace's family ultimately moved out, Schindler's fellow Austrian-American modernist Richard Neutra moved in. Nowadays Schindler House may be a little worse for wear, but it's a sweet little slice of architectural history nonetheless—check out the photos above.

· Kings Road House by R.M. Schindler [Kovenger & Kester]