ArchDaily | Broadcasting Architecture Worldwidethe world's most visited architecture website
i

Sign up now and start saving and organizing your favorite architecture projects and photos

i

Find the most inspiring products for your projects in our Product Catalog.

i

Get the ArchDaily Chrome Extension and be inspired with every new tab. Install here »

All
Projects
Products
Events
Competitions
  1. ArchDaily
  2. Projects
  3. Houses
  4. United States
  5. Richard Neutra
  6. 1947
  7. AD Classics: Kaufmann House / Richard Neutra

AD Classics: Kaufmann House / Richard Neutra

AD Classics: Kaufmann House / Richard Neutra
AD Classics: Kaufmann House / Richard Neutra, © Thom Watson
© Thom Watson

AD Classics: Kaufmann House / Richard Neutra AD Classics: Kaufmann House / Richard Neutra AD Classics: Kaufmann House / Richard Neutra AD Classics: Kaufmann House / Richard Neutra +15

From the architect. One of the most important architects of the 20th Century, yet often overlooked, Richard Neutra has been on the forefront of modern residential architecture.  After moving to the United States from Vienna, Austria in 1923, Neutra worked with Frank Lloyd Wright and Rudolf Schindler until 1930 when he started his own practice.  

One of Neutra’s several iconic projects is the Kaufmann House in Palm Springs, California.  Completed between 1946-1947, the Kaufmann House was a vacation home for Edgar J. Kaufmann Sr. and his family to escape the harsh winters of the northeast.

plan
plan

10 years after the design of Fallingwater by Frank Lloyd Wright in Bear Run, Pennsylvania, the Kaufmann’s were looking for a residence that could be used to escape the cold winters of the northeast, which would primarily be used during January. 

After seeing Wright’s Taliesin West, Kaufmann was unimpressed and gave his commission to Richard Neutra.   Unlike Taliesin West, which implemented more earthy tones and materials, Neutra employed a more modernist and international style approach using glass, steel, and some stone in the design.

plan
plan

The design of the house is quite simplistic; at the center of the house is the living room and the dining room that is the heart of the house and the family activity. The rest of the house branches out like a pinwheel in each of the cardinal directions.  From the center of the house each wing that branches out has its own specific function; however, the most important aspects of the house are oriented east/west while the supporting features are oriented north/south.

The north and south wings are the most public parts of the house that connect to the central living area.  The south wing consists of a covered walkway that leads from the center of the house to the carport. 

The north wing is the guest’s quarters that are publicly accessible, but retain their private needs as they are separated from the rest of the house.  The west wing of the house is the service wing, which is fairly secluded from the rest of the open plan design.  The east wing is the most privatized aspect of the house as it is the Kaufmann’s master suite.

© Flickr User: Caffinara
© Flickr User: Caffinara

The house’s swimming pool is one of the most iconic and recognizable aspects of the Kaufmann House; however, it is not solely a photographic gem or simply a recreational feature.  The swimming pool creates a compositional balance of the overall design of the house.  The house alone is unbalanced and heavy as the wings are not equally proportioned, but with the addition and placement of the swimming pool there is a cohesive balance and harmony throughout the design.

The low, horizontal planes that make up the pinwheel design bring the house closer to the landscape making it appear as if it is hovering above the ground.  

The floating effect is emphasized through a series of sliding glass doors that open up to cover walkways or patios. The way in which Neutra designed the Kaufmann House was such that when the sliding glass doors were opened the differentiation of interior and exterior was blurred as if it was a sinuous space.

© Flickr User: Caffinara
© Flickr User: Caffinara

The flow from interior to exterior space is not simply a spatial condition rather it is an issue of materiality that creates the sinuous experience. The glass and steel make the house light, airy, and open, but it is the use of stone that solidifies the houses contextual relationship.  The light colored, dry set stone, what Neutra calls “Utah buff,” brings out the qualities of the glass and steel, but it also blends into the earthy tones of the surrounding landscape of the stone, mountains, and trees.

The Kaufmann House has gone through several owners after the Kaufmann’s owned the house, which led to the house to fall in disrepair and a lack of concern and preservation of the modern dwelling.   However, a couple that appreciated 20th Century modern homes restored the house back to its original luster with the help of Julius Shulman. The Kaufmann House is now considered to be an architectural landmark and one of the most important houses in the 20th Century.

Cite: Andrew Kroll. "AD Classics: Kaufmann House / Richard Neutra" 16 Jan 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/104112/ad-classics-kaufmann-house-richard-neutra/>
Read comments

53 Comments

Silver · September 03, 2014

Can you share some details on it's building structures?

Alberto tab · April 12, 2012

Un emblema de habitabilidad.Kauffman House,de 1946!!by Richard Neutra http://t.co/30qyM3HF #viviendasinolvidables #lacasaparticular

James May · April 05, 2012

Google Maps location is wrong. The Kaufman house is the second to last house on the north side of the western end of Vista Chino in Palm Springs.

Michael Wade · February 21, 2012

Modernism Week kicks off in Palm Springs. Here&#39s a good write-up of Richard Neutra&#39s Kaufmann House: http://t.co/Lvoo1HeV #modernismweek

ppriolo · January 16, 2012

@ArchDaily Classics: Kaufmann House / Richard Neutra (1946-47). http://t.co/naqWSM8q

Jason House · November 06, 2011

Richard Neutra&#39s masterpiece, the Kaufmann House: http://t.co/Hft5yT6q

Rafael B. · September 08, 2011

Outro clássico. Kaufmann House - Richard Neutral http://t.co/Cf33KjE

Bruno Bellomo · July 11, 2011

AD Classics: Kaufmann House / Richard Neutra http://t.co/LkA7qUZ vía @archdaily

Arno M · January 24, 2011

RT @ludwigmichael: Kaufmann House / Richard Neutra http://t.co/TApNlD2 ????? 5/5 hearts easy.

Mies van der Rohe · January 24, 2011

Kaufmann House / Richard Neutra http://t.co/TApNlD2 ????? 5/5 hearts easy.

FPA architects · January 24, 2011

The ultimate Neutra house? The Kaufmann Desert House - http://goo.gl/M8ZXR

John Crosse · January 23, 2011

Much on the published history on the house plus my 500 item annotated bibliography can be found at my
"Glamourized House: Richard Neutra's Kaufmann House: An Annotated & Illustrated Bibliography" at
http://socalarchhistory.blogsp...

thomas foral · January 18, 2011

AD Classics: Kaufmann House / Richard Neutra | ArchDaily http://t.co/vLxxI9W via @archdaily

DesignGraph · January 18, 2011
DesignGraph · January 18, 2011
DesignGraph · January 18, 2011
Leo Cirio Boehl · January 18, 2011

AD Classics: Kaufmann House / Richard Neutra | ArchDaily http://t.co/6A5Lhi6 via @archdaily //me gusta mucho!

Lucaciu Roxana · January 18, 2011

http://www.archdaily.com/10411... what a nice house...<3

Knut Eric Wingsch · January 18, 2011

AD Classics: Kaufmann House, Palm Springs, California, USA / Richard Neutra http://fb.me/IEm7IdCC

Fi Wilson · January 18, 2011

wish i was here http://archdai.ly/hGJ5Kk but most particularly here http://tinyurl.com/6fm72zq awaiting a visit from Columbo. i hate rain :(

Roberto Nehme · January 18, 2011

AD Classics: Kaufmann House / Richard Neutra | ArchDaily http://t.co/9kauLMY via @archdaily

timk_ok · January 17, 2011

AD Classics: Kaufmann House / Richard Neutra http://pulsene.ws/LBIN

lyndon thomas · January 17, 2011

Living my #dream
Kaufmann House / Richard Neutra http://archdai.ly/hGJ5Kk #architecture

lyndon thomas · January 17, 2011

Living my #dream
Kaufmann House / Richard Neutra http://archdai.ly/hGJ5Kk #architecture

lyndon thomas · January 17, 2011

Living my #dream
Kaufmann House / Richard Neutra http://archdai.ly/hGJ5Kk #architecture

w11kirschner | welf · January 17, 2011

AD Classics: Kaufmann House / Richard Neutra | ArchDaily http://t.co/0HIy0C6 via @archdaily

Johny Fabio · January 17, 2011

Kaufmann House, Arq. Richard Neutra. Link: http://www.archdaily.com/10411...

John Bailey · January 17, 2011

i need to win the lottery
http://bit.ly/fWVruG

Architekt R V Scholz · January 17, 2011

#Architekt #Calau AD Classics: Kaufmann House / Richard Neutra: © Thom WatsonOne of the mo... http://bit.ly/hDjSmy #in http://dy.cx/c03

Adityo Fadli · January 17, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: Kaufmann House / Richard Neutra http://archdai.ly/hGJ5Kk #architecture

RIBA Plymouth Branch · January 17, 2011

a golden oldie “@ArchDaily: AD Classics: Kaufmann House / Richard Neutra http://archdai.ly/hGJ5Kk #architecture”

851302 · January 17, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: Kaufmann House / Richard Neutra http://archdai.ly/hGJ5Kk #architecture

Thom · January 17, 2011

looks so much like the schindler house to me

Peter Newton · January 17, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: Kaufmann House / Richard Neutra http://archdai.ly/hGJ5Kk #architecture

Erik Joya · January 17, 2011

AD Classics: Kaufmann House / Richard Neutra: © Thom Watson One of the most important… http://goo.gl/fb/lRhB5

Koda Design · January 17, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: Kaufmann House / Richard Neutra http://archdai.ly/hGJ5Kk #architecture

JChris d'urbanbike · January 17, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: Kaufmann House / Richard Neutra http://archdai.ly/hGJ5Kk #architecture

Inside Out · January 17, 2011

Revisiting an iconic home - the Kaufmann House http://bit.ly/fWVruG (We paid tribute to it a few issues ago) Via @archdaily

Sam? · January 17, 2011

Kaufmann House!!RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: Kaufmann House / Richard Neutra http://archdai.ly/hGJ5Kk #architecture

envato3D · January 17, 2011

AD Classics: Kaufmann House / Richard Neutra http://pulsene.ws/LaoJ ^AD

ArchitecturePassion · January 17, 2011

AD Classics: Kaufmann House / Richard Neutra: © Thom WatsonOne of the most important architects of the 20t... http://tinyurl.com/5worbgd

Kevin Parent · January 17, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: Kaufmann House / Richard Neutra http://archdai.ly/hGJ5Kk #architecture

architecture 8 · January 17, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: Kaufmann House / Richard Neutra http://archdai.ly/hGJ5Kk #architecture

Michael Shapiro · January 17, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: Kaufmann House / Richard Neutra http://archdai.ly/hGJ5Kk #architecture

arch_related · January 17, 2011

AD Classics: Kaufmann House / Richard Neutra: © Thom WatsonOne of the most important architects of the 20th Cent... http://bit.ly/eTOGsI

Rajan Reddy · January 17, 2011

One day RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: Kaufmann House / Richard Neutra http://archdai.ly/hGJ5Kk #architecture

Julio Cesar Salgado · January 17, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: Kaufmann House / Richard Neutra http://archdai.ly/hGJ5Kk #architecture

Alfonso Rodríguez · January 17, 2011

RT @ArchDaily Kaufmann House / Richard Neutra http://archdai.ly/hGJ5Kk #architecture // EN AD Classics, una casa hermosa

Barry Maguire · January 17, 2011

AD Classics: Kaufmann House / Richard Neutra via ArchDaily - © Thom Watson One of the most important ... http://tinyurl.com/6ho3932

Bocetos Digitales · January 17, 2011

AD Classics: Kaufmann House / Richard Neutra: © Thom WatsonOne of the most important architects of the 20th Cent... http://bit.ly/feWIkK

Travel Writer · January 17, 2011

RT| AD Classics: Kaufmann House / Richard Neutra: © Thom WatsonOne of the most important architects o... http://bit.ly/dTZX7Z @archdaily

DEZIGN · January 17, 2011

AD Classics: Kaufmann House / Richard Neutra: © Thom WatsonOne of the most important architects of the 20th Cent... http://bit.ly/eTOGsI

Rube · January 17, 2011

Look at the first image - How many times has the form of the upper floor been duplicated? Timeless!

···

Comments are closed

Read comments
© Thom Watson

AD 经典:考夫曼住宅 / Richard Neutra