Richard Neutra's Search for the Southland: California, Latin America and Spain
|Published in:||Architectural History, 2016, v. 59|
During the twentieth century, diverse cultures from around the globe served as vital sources for architects who attempted to merge Modernist ideas with traditional values. Richard Neutra (1892–1970) absorbed ideas from Japan, the American Middle West and his own native Austria, and eventually his study of these regions deeply affected his work. By analysing archival sources and period publications, this article reveals that even before emigrating to the United States (1923), and throughout his career, the cultures of California, Latin America and Spain were also sources for Neutra's work. He travelled extensively throughout these regions, he researched their local customs and architecture and he deftly and purposefully incorporated vernacular elements, such as sun-shading devices, ventilation strategies and interior patios, into his own work. For his Latin American and Spanish colleagues, his work exemplified a successful fusion between their own traditions and Modernist principles.
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