Richard Neutra, Beckstrand House, Via Montemar 1400, Los Angeles, USA, 1940
Richard Neutra, Beckstrand House, 1400 Via Montemar, Palos Verdes Estates, Los Angeles, USA, 1940
The Beckstrand House in Palos Verdes Estates looks like a typical flat-roofed Richard Neutra design, but that’s only because of a crafty zoning code workaround. According to Thomas S. Hines’s Richard Neutra and the Search for Modern Architecture, “This was…Neutra’s first major encounter with zoning codes that demanded red tile, pitched roofs. Since the degree of pitch was not prescribed, Neutra utilized the minimum, so as to make the pitch virtually unnoticeable.” The Beckstrand was built in 1940 and is only on its second owner, who looks to have taken pretty good care of the place. The three-bedroom, four-bathroom house is about 1,700 square feet, but when it was built, it “seemed bigger than it was because of its siting in the midst of an orange grove overlooking the coast of the Palos Verdes peninsula,” according to Hines. In the living space , freed from constructive needs, the plan become fully enclosure by glass , reaching a continuity with the surrounding garden. However it is perhaps even more important for the extensive use of materials such as rough brick, ceramic floors and red wood.
Boutin, Marc. 2000. Richard Neutra: The idealization of technology in America. Canada, University of Calgary.
Reviewed by Irmina Gerełło, March 2017.