Coming up on Saturday, October 16 from 10-3pm is a special event for fans of Modernism – the 2010 “LA Modern” homes tour sponsored by the Los Altos Community Foundation. The upcoming tour includes several California Modern homes besides the Neutra house designed in the same spirit: light, airy, rigorous and clean, with an acceptance of natural materials as well as modern industrial techniques.
Coming up on Saturday, October 16 from 10-3pm is a special event for fans of Modernism – the 2010 “LA Modern” homes tour sponsored by the Los Altos Community Foundation, along with many local businesses and design firms. The tour begins at The Los Altos Neutra House at 181 Hillview Ave., and includes homes in Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, and south Palo Alto.
Architects who have homes on the tour include: Bohlin Cywinski Jackson (Peter Bohlin recently won an AIA Gold Medal Award), Mark English Architects (sponsor of this blog), Jonathan Pearlman of Elevation Architects, Michael Albrecht of HAUS Design, Callas Shortridge Architects, and Scott Stotler of the Stotler Design Group. According to Jan Masters, one of the organizers, “The addresses of the houses on the tour are kept confidential until people actually arrive at the Neutra House at 181 Hillview to pick up their tickets, tour pamphlets and maps to start the tour. We find this helps with the excitement … sort of like a road rally … and helps protect the homeowners from intrusion.”
Tickets for the LA Modern Homes Tour are $40, with a post-tour party and reception from 3-5 for an additional $20. A special VIP preview celebration occurs the evening before – if you want to do that one, $150 package includes the Preview Party, the home tour on Saturday, and the post-tour party at the end of the tour ($130 of the price is tax deductible). All proceeds from the “LA Modern” Home Tour, Preview Party, and Los Altos Neutra House Speaker Series benefit the Los Altos Neutra House to pay off the remaining capital debt for this preservation project.
The Los Altos Neutra House Project began in 2005 as an effort to save a small home designed by renowned Modernist Richard Neutra. This home was one of three cottages on a former prune orchard, that Neutra designed for two poets in 1935. With funding from local businesses and many private citizens interested in preserving architectural history, the home was moved to public land owned by the City of Los Altos, and has since been renovated to serve as a community center and conference facility.
And, over the next several months, the Neutra House Speaker Series includes lectures followed by receptions and discussions with people like Sam Grawe, editor-in-chief of Dwell magazine, John King, urban design critic for the San Francisco Chronicle, and Thomas Klope, Bay Area landscape architect.
The Speaker Series is $15 for each lecture, $15 for the reception following. Buying the Speaker Series includes a one-year membership in the Los Altos Neutra House Association, with additional tours and other events offered to Association members. For more information on these events, please contact The Neutra House association directly at 650-949-5908 or visit the web site at www.neutrahouse.org.
In addition to his design sense, Richard Neutra is widely admired among architects for his exceptional drawing skills. A recent exhibit of his sketches was shown at the L.A. Public Library last year. Who knows… maybe it’ll come to the Bay Area eventually.
About the author
Rebecca Firestone has been working in the Bay Area since 1998 as a technical writer, business content developer, architectural filing lady, marketing director, and sorcerer’s apprentice.