RICHARD NEUTRA (1894 – 1967)
Richard Neutra was born in Vienna on April 8, 1892. Richard Neutra mainly worked in Southern California and especially in the USA he is regarded as an architect of the classical Modern Age. Richard Neutra studied at the Technical University in Vienna under Adolf Loos and graduated there in 1917.
After his studies Richard Neutra went to Berlin and worked with Erich Mendelsohn. Richard Neutra was a close friend of Sigmund Freud’s son Ernst. On a trip they made together Neutra met his later wife Dione Neumann, a cello player.
Early on Richard Neutra discovered his fascination for modern US architecture. Especially the designs of Frank Lloyd Wright had a great impact on Neutra, so that, in 1923, he emigrated to the USA together with his wife. First they went to Chicago and then moved on to California. In the following years Richard Neutra was seen as a representative of the International Style in the USA. Neutra mainly designed spacious mansions.
Similarly to Wright, Richard Neutra was very enthusiastic about including the external space of his designs in their interior. Concerning the architecture of the courtyards, Neutra´s designs are masterpieces with housing designs embedded in nature. The transition from inside to outside is often fluid, without clear cuts: large areas of grass are intended to close the separation.
Richard Neutra was never an egoistic architect: he often confronted his clients with encompassing questionnaires in order to be able to adapt his designs to the customers´ wishes. Richard Neutra´s most famous building is probably the Kaufmann Desert House from 1946 – in the middle of lonely landscape, close to Palm Springs.
Richard Neutra´s most famous piece of furniture is definitely his ”Boomerang Chair“ from 1942 - a lounge chair with clear forms and an optically almost transparent covering, which gives the chair an impressive airiness.
Richard Neutra died in Wuppertal in 1970.