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Schindler, Rudolf Michael

Schindler, Rudolf Michael (1887–1953). Vienna-born American architect. Early influences were Loos, Otto Wagner, and Frank Lloyd Wright (in whose office he worked from 1916). He established his own practice in Los Angeles in 1921, and collaborated in the mid-1920s with Neutra. Most of his work was in the field of domestic architecture, for which, in the 1920s, he used systems of concrete construction. His Schindler House, North Kings Road, Hollywood, CA (1921–2), was freely composed, with two L-shaped plans containing studios and giving access to external living-areas, but his most celebrated building of the period (influenced by the De Stijl movement and by Constructivism) was the Lovell Beach House, 1242 Ocean Avenue, Newport Beach, CA (1922–6), supported on five exposed concrete frames, with spaces enclosed by prefabricated elements. His work then became more blocky, as in the Buck House, Los Angeles (1934), and he gradually ceased using concrete as his main building material, turning to timber frames and stucco finishes in the 1930s, and to plywood panels in the 1940s. He began to express roofs, as in the van Dekker House, Canoga Park, CA (1940), and then evolved an architecture that appeared increasingly fragmented, as in the Janson House, Los Angeles (1949). His individuality, humour, and dislike of the totali-tarianism inherent in the International Modern Movement led to his comparative neglect, but he was later perceived as a designer of pioneering Modernist buildings.


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Jane Turner (1996)

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