Architect Spotlight: Richard Neutra

We look for inspiration in lots of different places, but there's no better place to go for inspiration than straight to the source. When 1767 started moving into the design world, we began learning all we could about history's best architects, picking up bits and pieces of their styles and finding new and creative ways to approach our own projects.

We frequently post inspirational shots from these architects over on our Instagram page, and lots of you seemed just as interested in them as we are. That's when we got the idea to feature one of our favorite architects each month here on our blog to help share what we're learning, show you where our inspiration comes from and (of course) give you some serious #HousePorn to look at. 

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Our first featured architect is Richard Neutra — master of modernism, lover of art and fellow Californian (though he was originally born in Austria). Neutra worked briefly under Frank Lloyd Wright, but he owes most of his education in architecture to European architects like Gustav AmmannErich Mendelsohn and Rudolf Schindler. Neutra worked under Schindler in Southern California in the mid 1920s, and the work that they created together was so far ahead of its time, we'd swear it was from the mid century. 

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via Getty

Neutra first worked as a landscape architect when he arrived in California, designing gardens throughout areas like Newport Beach and Hollywood. After his architecture skills began catching up with his mentor Rudolf Schindler, the two went into business together (along with Carol Aronovici) to form the Architectural Group for Industry and Commerce, or AGIC. Their work was geometric, yet airy and open, creating what became known as the West Coast answer to the mid-century modern style. 

We love that Neutra emphasized function for the client, not just style — he was known for asking endless lists of questions before beginning any build so that he could really understand how the family would use the home. He created multipurpose rooms, blended the landscape into the home's design and made the floor plans open, accessible and airy. In a Los Angeles Times interview, Neutra famously called his homes "ready-for-anything".

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