Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Neutra was born in Vienna, Austria in 1892. He studied under Adolf Loos, was influenced by Otto Wagner, and worked for a time in Germany. but moved to the United States by 1923. Neutra worked briefly for Frank Lloyd Wright but eventually ended up in California, where he worked for close friend Rudolf Schindler (the two had met originally in Vienna at university) before opening his own practice with his wife, Dione.
He was famous for the great attention he gave to defining the real needs of his clients, when he was commissioned to build a simple house or a mansion. This was in contrast with other genial architects, who would often do everything to impose their artistic vision on a client, regardless of what was really needed to create a home. He would sometimes use detailed questionnaires to find out exactly what the owners would need, much to the surprise of many of his clients. His domestic architecture was a blend of Art, landscape and practical comfort.
Neutra had a sharp sense of irony and he would gently make fun of his clients with a straight face. He could sometimes tell completely outrageous lies about them, such as the story that Josef von Sternberg kept cannons, and vicious spiders to ward off intruders and that he was planning to have an incinerator built to dispose of the bodies that his Persian chauffeur found every morning in the electrified moat around his beautiful house. When pressed he would readily admit his guilt of wanting "to make things more interesting".
The revival in the mid-90s of mid-century modernism has given new cache' to his work, as its become (along with Lautner and Schindler's) trophy property for the pop culture and media elite including Tom Ford, Kelly Lynch and others with prices topping $4 million for Case Study 20 and $6 million for the Singleton House.
Neutra died in Wuppertal, Germany in 1970.
Neutra's son Dion has kept the office open as "Richard and Dion Neutra Architecture" in Los Angeles.
Neutra's works include:
- Lovell House, 1929, Los Angeles
- Von Sternberg house 1935 San Fernando valley.
- Emerson Junior High School, 1938, West Los Angeles, California
- Kaufman House, 1946, Palm Springs, California
- Moore House , 1952, Ojai, California (received AIA award) 
- Case Study House programs
- Delcourt House, 1968-1969, Croix, Nord, France
- Hines, Thomas. Richard Neutra and the Search for Modern Architecture.. New York: Oxford University Press, 1982.
- Neutra, Richard Joseph. Life and Shape. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1962.
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