Los Angeles Architecture Tours: Kings Road House: Rudolf Schindler, 1921-1922

Rudolf Schindler’s Kings Road House, commonly referred to as the Schindler House or Schindler/Chace House, is perhaps the architect’s most important work and was his own dwelling from its completion in 1922 until the architect’s death in 1953.

Schindler was born and educated in Vienna, Austria, mentored by Adolf Loos, and moved to the United States in 1914 when he was 26 years old. Schindler actively sought out Frank Lloyd Wright as a second mentor and employer, but Wright, with little work and still grieving the Taliesin Tragedy, was unable to employ the young architect until 1918. Schindler first worked for Wright at Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin, assisting with plans for Wright’s Imperial Hotel in Tokyo. Schindler arrived in Los Angeles in 1920 on behalf of Wright to work on Hollyhock House for Aline Barsndall.

Kings Road House was Schindler’s first independent project in Los Angeles, designed and built after he left Wright’s office in 1921. Schindler’s House remains as one of the most influential modern houses of the 20th century, built on the concept of an indoor/outdoor lifestyle that, today, is omnipresent in Southern California.

The house was built with two L-shaped wings for two couples: Schindler and his wife Pauline, and Clyde and Marian Chace. Four of the seven “rooms” were allocated specifically to each resident, with the remaining rooms as communal or transitional spaces.

The materials used in the Kings Road House were concrete, glass, and redwood. The walls of the rooms are exposed concrete with narrow, vertical slits for light. Each of the rooms has a wall of glass with partitions that open to outdoor living spaces. A concrete slab acts as both the foundation and the floor. The roof is wood, with various levels dropped for compression and expansion, a concept he likely learned from Frank Lloyd Wright, and two “sleeping baskets” were created on the roof for open-air sleeping.

The Chaces lived in the house until 1925, at which point Richard Neutra and his wife Dione moved into the Chace wing. Neutra and Schindler were old friends in Vienna, and Neutra also worked for Frank Lloyd Wright for a short time. Neutra and his wife toured Asia and Europe in 1930, and upon their return to Los Angeles did not move back into the Kings Road House. Neutra and Schindler had a falling out concerning the Lovell Health House, and Neutra then built his own home and studio in 1932: the VDL Research House. Schindler and his wife separated in 1927, but Pauline returned to the Kings Road House in 1938, living in the Chace wing.

Today, the Kings Road House is home to the MAK Center for Art and Architecture.

Frank Lloyd Wright Los Angeles Guide
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Los Angeles Architecture Tours
Pudleaux Tourism offers a variety of architectural and sightseeing tours of Los Angeles. Each LA tour offers a unique way to experience this vast metropolis and learn about Los Angeles’ fascinating architectural history. These guided tours visit a medley of areas in and around Los Angeles, including: Downtown LA, Silver Lake, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Westwood, Santa Monica, and Venice, to see and discuss the work of architects Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Neutra, R.M. Schindler, John Lautner, Charles Eames, and Frank Gehry among others.

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