Rudolph M. Schindler, Falk Apartments, 1939/40, Los Angeles
Rudolph M. Schindler designed the Falk Apartments in Los Angeles from 1939-40. The complex is built on a sloping, triangular site which determines the way each apartment is laid out. The site influences how each dwelling relates to the corner site and the hill.
The complex is characterized by a push-and-pull-play of cubistic elements which leads to an intense communication between the interior and exterior spaces. In contrast to the more flat, orthogonal residences Schindler did before the Falk Apartments are concentrated on a more expressionistic, sculptured front. This can be shown by Schindler’s design of the garages. On the one hand they act as brackets/placeholder, which separate street (publicity) and dwelling (privacy) and one individual privacy from another. One the other hand the garages can literally be interpreted as the formative cubistic base of a twisting and turning sculpture expanding in stages to the hill. Schindler made sure that each resident has an individual unobstructed view from the terraces and rooms. Touring the Falk Apartments one might learn how each apartment differs from another and what unifies them. What view do residents enjoy?
While investigating on this building one finds a large quantity of photographs. But it is hard to discover a picture which shows the whole arrangement of the area of Falk Apartments. To really understand how the segments of the Falk Apartments influence on each other and bind together as a coherent whole, one should absolutely go for a walk around this architecture. On our visit at Falk Apartments into which we presumably cannot enter one task should be taking the most overarching photograph as possible and identify problems while doing it.
Hines, Thomas, The Frame for a Life. Rudolf Schindler‘ Discordant Modernism, 1930-1953, in: Thomas Hines, Architecture of the sun. Los Angeles Modernism 1900-1970. New York 2010. S.316-363
Wilson, Richard Guy, Die Metaphysik von Rudolph Schindler, in: Elizabeth A. T. Smith/ Michael Darling, R. M. Schindler, Bauten und Projekte, Ausst. kat. Los Angeles 2001, S. 116-143.