Richard Neutra, Landfair Apartments, 1937, Westwood LA

After we visited the Schindler House in Kings Road in West Hollywood, we made our way to the Landfair Apartments by Neutra. The building complex is still inhabited by students and it is near the UCLA campus. It is barely visible from the street, because large trees obstruct the view. Further the surrounding densely populated and also it is enclosed by other modern buildings that put the exemplary architecture of Neutra in the background. We were lucky that a student of UCLA was able to give us a tour of the building and so we were allowed to have a look into the inner space. The building is located on a hill on the corner of Landfair Avenue and Ophir Drive in Westwood.

Viewed up close it looks dilapidated. We went with the student to the first floor of the one-story living quarters in the east and unfortunately here also everything looks neglected. On that floor the rooms of the students were located. From the steps on the right side you were able to access the backyard, where you were able to better view the staggered configuration of the row houses, that give the effect of separated living. Here the impact of the aesthetic of Neutras architecture was clearly visible through the uniform formation and the clarity of surface expresses itself.  Below the first floor was an expansive living room with a large window front, which gives the room light. The for Neutra so typical metal window frames were unfortunately all painted over in white. Through the living-room you entered a balcony that spanned the whole east side of the building.

The student who gave us the tour told us that the majority of the students do not realise that they are living in such an important and exemplary building. Even so the building was built in 1937 it is still one of the great examples of International Style and it‘s hard to comprehend that it is now in such a neglected state.

 

 

Mona El Amir

 

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