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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, (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, (Datum des Zugriffs: 12.03.2017).

[10] Meyer, Kimberli i. a.: Residency Program. Overview, (Datum des Zugriffs: 12.03.2017).

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

Frank D. Israel, Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation – 1991, Los Angeles

An ornamental building lightly constructed, often used as a pleasure-house or summerhouse in a garden, or attached to a cricket or other sports ground; also a projecting subdivision of some larger building, usually square and often domed, forming an angle feature on the main facade or terminating the wings“[1].

A quite accurate formulation of the term ‚pavilion/pavillon’ itself, if we refer words like ‚lightly constructed’ or ‚usually square’ to one of Frank D. Israel works in early 90s: The Weisman Pavilion.

It rises somewhere in the famous hills of Los Angeles, as a rectangular solide above the greens of this broad expanse of area.

Inside view, via Wikimedia Commons

Created by Frank Israel in 1991, it houses a collection of expressionate Art.

With a kind of fortress-ish Charisma, one is willing to approach this building barely carefully.
It is paradoxally studded with lightweighted elements, in order to break through its mass. Elements like as „mitered glass corner“ and „movable walls“ or „weightless stairs“[2].

Units and parts that imply influences from Japan/the Pacific Rim. Israel created links between the west coast and its Pacific equivalent/companion[3]. So in both cases, lines between inside and outside or landscape and construction are blurred[4].

Even if we speak about a fluent sence of space, we distinguish a symmetry – noticeable especially on the facade. And even if its light-flooded with open rooms, we distinguish a privacy through the thickness of its massive, stuccoed and solid walls – which is related to the privacy of the art collection it hosts.

Derya Kulatu



[1] Fleming, John i. e.: Pavilion. In: The Penguin Dictionary of Architecture, hg. v. John Fleming, Hugh Honour, Nikolaus Pevsner, London 1966, S. 238.

[2] Steele, James: Los Angeles Architecture; Chapter VI – Architecture and Community: Divining a Sense of Place, o. O. 1993, S. 154.

[3] Steele 1993.

[4] Israel, Frank D.: Frank D. Israel. Buildings and Projects, o. O. 1993, S. 113.