Long before he set foot in his future, permanent home of Los Angeles, the renowned 20th-century architect Richard Neutra immersed himself in the lessons of booming 1920s Chicago and America, drinking in steel framing via architect and engineer Dankmar Adler, working on the Palmer House as Draftsman #216 for Holabird and Roche, visiting the great Louis Sullivan in his final days, and meeting Frank Lloyd Wright.
Austrian-American Neutra trained in Vienna before moving to Berlin to work for Erich Mendelsohn, Germany’s most important interwar architect. In Luckenwalde, a proud 12th-century feudal city, Neutra’s forgotten but striking design for a radical new kind of cemetery with public access to forested nature still thrives after almost 90 years. Some years later, Neutra was invited by Mies van der Rohe to teach at the Bauhaus, integrating the means—glass and steel—with ends, an architecture of “nature near.”
Neutra scholar and architectural historian Barbara Lamprecht lectures on this intense decade in Neutra’s life and career, speaking on the influence of his German and Chicago connections.
Recorded Thursday, January 12, 2012 at the Goethe Institut.