Background: Richard & Dionne Neutra built this house in 1937 after receiving funding from Van Der Leuwen, for whom the house is named. Richard and his son Dion ran their firm out of the back of the house & often held events in the front. After a fire in 1963, Dion, rebuilt the structure, this time with the benefit of having lived there for many years and with careful attention to the climactic forces.
50 years after the renovation, the house is still very inspirational. The experience of being in the house is powerful and conveys much more than the images. The strongest impression is how well the Neutras blurred the distinction between outdoor and indoor. The breezeway on the second floor opens up entirely on both sides, and while covered overhead, feels like being in a tree house. Through screens and louvers, the Neutras clearly mastered control of the local air currents and solar aspect, to provide maximum ventilation and light control in all areas of the house.
Also very evident is the craft and care in details to support the mundane, perfunctory functions of life–the corner cabinet between kitchen and dining, the flush wood panel doors at the bedrooms, and the built in toothbrush/cup holder at the vanity. And the lovely vintage tiles showcase the craft of materials from the time.