Architecture has frequently been compared to music. Walking through this gorgeous restoration of acclaimed modernist Rudolph Schindler’s last work, it’s easy to feel the comparison.
In the hands of a master like Schindler, even a simple space can take on a rhythm and flow much like a musical composition.
Throughout this two-bedroom hillside bungalow, one room leads seamlessly to the next, distinct yet organically connected.
The home was commissioned by Philip and Phyllis Schlessinger and built in 1952. Unfortunately, Schindler passed away before work was completed on the home. John Reed finished the project using Schindler’s plans.
The home stayed in the Schlessinger family until 2011 when it was purchased for a mere $600,000.
Schindler was part of group of architects working pioneering a new style of architecture many today associate with mid-century design. That group included names such as Richard Neutra and Frank Lloyd Wright. The new modern architectural style used new technologies and materials to create designs with open flexible spaces and blended harmoniously with their sites.
A superb example of this new attitude can be found in the home that Schindler designed for himself, the Schindler House in West Hollywood. The home was designed to be a live/ work space to be shared by two families as a sort of communal dwelling. The residence lacked conventional living areas and even bedrooms, relying instead on an open flexible space that characterizes many of the modern homes we see today. These designs were not merely aesthetic. The homes that Schindler and others were building reflected dramatically changing ideas of how Americans viewed home life in the twentieth century.
The Schlessinger House is perched in the Franklin Hills neighborhood of Los Feliz, just steps away from the Shakespeare Bridge. The hillside location and southern exposure offers city light views and plenty of sunshine.
Noted craftsman Eric Lamers oversaw this impeccable restoration. Lamers tastefully reworked the original design while staying true to the intent and breathes new life into this modern classic.
Take a look at some of the before and after photos to see the difference.
Notice how much is achieved with relatively little effort. Simply changing the color palette and removing the window treatments adds volume and drama to the space. Lamers further refined the design by stripping away what little ornamentation there was leaving the clean lines to speak for themselves.
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One of the hallmarks of modern residential design is straight lines and ninety degree angles. This can lead to a boxy and predictable feeling. Although this house is based on rectangular shapes, Schindler breaks up the design with sudden angles. Much like a chord change in a piece of music, these small shifts in space subvert our expectation adds a feeling of movement in the space. A great example is the backyard patio. Notice how the forced perspective seems to make the modest backyard space seem much bigger than it is.
- 2 bedrooms
- 2 bathrooms
- 1,258 sq. ft. of living space
- 5,367 lot size
- Franklin Elementary School district
Listing photos courtesy of Coldwell Banker, Nathaniel Cole and Keller Williams, David Kinder.