R. M. Schindler, Mackey Apartments – 1939-1940, Los Angeles

A white plastered, cubic building located in the Mid-Wilshire in Los Angeles, California and builted on a 6475 sf[1] of site area in an ordinary neighborhood.

That descriptive datas may sound quite unexciting, but what we look upon here is a masterpiece in south californian building culture of the 1930s. Rudolph M. Schindler is the architect.

When you stand in front of the building, you already get an impression of diverse levels, heights and a considered formation/arrangement of angles and forms[2]. A cube that looks like destructed and reconstructed: the emerging question, whether it is casually arranged or planned get answered if you enter the lot and further the interieur. Every piece is well tought-out.
Your’re welcomed by an accurately cut wall of green tamed by a clean white, plastered border which leads you to the frontwall of the building. There, your eyes are probably catched by the L-shaped window facade, bounded by a slender handrail.

It’s Schindler’s 2nd stylistic period of work, in which he creates this house for P. Mackey[3]. This ‚cubistic period’, so called by Esther McCoy, is mainly characterized by setbacks and a noticeable fenestration. „Everything was connected with everything“[4] – This is translated inside as well by using practical built-in furniture[5].

By idealizing Adolf Loos and his manifesto/ideas ‚Raumplan’[6]; he convert his idea of continued room and connected layers into the interior. The clerestory lightning[7] becomes his main tool; to create even more rooms and ‚chapters’ in this object.

The building stores 4 units[8] and a garage part, which ist attached by an additional windowed space on top of it back in 2010[9].
It inhabit today 4 artists in each unit for half a year as an incentive to further development/in order to work on projects and develope[10]; just in a Schindler type (of) manner.

Schindler was categorized as the onetime architects, who „lived up to the idea that home is a dwelling place for the body and the soul“[11].

Derya Kulatu



[1] Falletta, Liz: By-Design. Mackey Apartments, http://byrightbydesign.com/blog/portfolio/mackey-apartments/ (Datum des Zugriffs: 12.03.2017).

[2] Wilson, Richard Guy: Die Metaphysik von Rudolph Schindler. Raum, Maschine und Moderne, In: Rudolph M. Schindler u. a. (Hg.): R. M. Schindler. Bauten und Projekte, o. O. 2001, S. 140.

[3] Hines, Thomas S.: The Frame for a Life. Rudolph Schindler’s Discordant Modernism, 1930-1953, In: Thomas S. Hines (Hg.): Architecure of the Sun. Los Angeles Modernism 1900-1970, New York 2010, S. 341.

[4] McCoy, Esther: Stephanie Oliver, Washington D. C. o. J., zit. nach Hines 2010 (wie Anm. 3), S. 329.

[5] Steele, James: R. M. Schindler 1887-1953. An Exploration of Space, o. O. 2001, S. 57.

[6] Hines 2010 (wie Anm. 3), S. 341.

[7] Steele 2001 (wie Anm. 4), S.57.

[8] Hines 2010 (wie Anm. 3), S. 341.

[9] Meyer, Kimberli i. a.: Sites. Mackey Apartments & Garage top, http://makcenter.org/sites/mackey-apartments-garage-top/ (Datum des Zugriffs: 12.03.2017).

[10] Meyer, Kimberli i. a.: Residency Program. Overview, http://makcenter.org/residency-program/ (Datum des Zugriffs: 12.03.2017).

[11] Hines 2010 (wie Anm. 3), S. 363.

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