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How Neutra's Freedman House was Restored and Updated

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Dwell keeps what architecture blog historians will undoubtedly refer to as "The Autumn of All Things Neutra" going strong with a look at how L.A.'s Nonzero Architecture renovated a 1949 home by the modernist heavy-hitter. Changing up a Richard Neutra home in a locale so ravenously appreciative of unaltered modernism is risky business, but founder and principal Peter Grueneisen had the lucky task of bringing the already altered Freedman House back to something approaching Neutra's original design, avoiding the pitfall of "making changes that would not live up to the timelessness of the original." Still, there was one major alteration the clients wanted, in the form of a second-floor addition overlooking the pool.

Grueneisen, who was familiar with the home from having worked with previous owners, started off by "restoring the house back to some of its original concepts and adding certain critical, but still missing pieces," weighing "different levels of faithfulness to the existing structure, from a very near emulation to a much more contemporary approach that would only quote the previous architecture in some key aspects." The living room and kitchen, for example, weren't changed around very much.

When it came time to put in the second floor, which is reached from the paved area by the pool, the team chose large window bands and roof overhangs with detailing designed to emulate Neutra's original design. Despite the "significant change in the massing," Grueneisen tells Dwell, "we believe the final composition results in an integrated and seamless sense of continuity between the different generations of the building."

Head to Dwell for more photos and notes from the firm.

· A Neutra Renovation in Los Angeles [Dwell]