The mid-century architectural style so popular today is the love child of two distinct cultural forces. One was the Bauhaus Movement in Pre-World War II Germany which embraced technology and sought to bring high design to the masses The other, came from the East in the form of the centuries-old aesthetics of Japan.
Schindler, Neutra, and other European emigres combined these ideas to produce the iconic mid-century homes around the Hollywood Hills.
Following World War II, Japanese culture began to enter into the American mainstream. Beat writers like Allen Ginsburg and Jack Kerouac, and popular philosophers such as Alan Watts, introduced many Americans to the notions of Zen. The Zen ideal is one of irreducible simplicity and harmony with nature, both hallmarks of modernist sensibility.
Traditional temples in Japan are constructed with post and beams of heavy timber. Although simple in design, these buildings are often built with exquisite craftsmanship. The joints are assembled with laser-like precision completely by hand, and usually without metal fasteners of any kind. Structures on temple sites incorporate natural surroundings such as gardens, running water, and views.
Contemporary Western architects borrowed these many of these elements as they developed the modernist architectural style. Realtors in Japan were gushing about indoor-outdoor flow long before Los Angeles even existed.
Post and beam homes in Los Feliz