After featuring a Richard Neutra designed home in Shreveport, Louisiana as our “House of the Week,” it seemed fitting to showcase a few of his other designs. His design approach placed considerable value on actually living in the dwelling. Therefore, he included many built-ins and visualized the spaces already furnished. The venerable architect often selected furniture for his clients that complemented his house designs, resulting in the optimal cohesive final product. Wise clients accepted this advice, and ceded control to him in that category. With the appropriate furnishings and decor, his houses are pure modern masterpieces. Here are three of the best.
1. The Kaufmann House
The Kaufmann House in Palm Springs, California
The “House of the Week” is typically in Nashville, TN, but this week the featured property is so special it deserves our attention all the way in Shreveport, Louisiana. It is a rare offering of a home designed by the distinguished Richard Neutra, who is my favorite architect. Part of what makes it so rare is the geographic location. The vast majority of Neutra’s residential works are located in California, where his modern style is an ideal fit. Other than one home in Iowa and one in Texas, few known Neutra products are found outside of the west, other than a handful of commercial designs such as an auditorium, library, and chemical building. This Shreveport home is a wildly unique opportunity for a Neutra fan to purchase one of his houses east of the Mississippi River. The price of $597,298 is the second component of rarity. Compared to Neutra’s Kaufmann House, Singleton House, and Staller House which have all been for sale with price tags over $10,000,000 the Shreveport house is significantly more accessible.
The Neutra Shreveport house is a sprawling 5,137 square feet, with six bedrooms and five bathrooms. Due to it’s size, the asking price is only $116 per square foot. The listing agent, Lauren West with Keller Williams, says it is, “Not only a home, but a WORK OF
Living in an old grain silo doesn’t exactly sound very sleek or stylish. But architect Christoph Kaiser transformed a Kansas farm silo he bought online into a unique custom home that showcases inventive use of space and incredibly beautiful materials. He lives in the home with his wife in Phoenix, AZ. It is comprised of 190 square feet of living space, and has an additional sleeping loft. Ten inch thick spray foam insulation was applied between the shell of the silo and the finished interior walls, resulting in a tight, efficient dwelling. The majority of the interior wood is walnut that Kaiser purchased from Craigslist for $350. After much thoughtful planning and labor to finish the silo, it appears the Kaisers will be reaping a harvest of comfortable living for years to come.
All photos by Mark Lipczynski.
Nick Olsen and Lila Horwitz crafted this off-the-grid cabin in the mountains of West Virginia for an incredibly cheap $500. An abandoned barn provided most of the building materials, but the couple provided the labor themselves. Although it doesn’t have electricity or plumbing, the getaway cabin’s greatest attribute is its connection to the natural surroundings. The wall of reclaimed windows maximizes the sunsets, “when everything inside is on fire,” says Horwitz. The natural wooden elements of the interior floors and walls blend with the bucolic views and make this enchanting short-stay cabin a place you don’t want to leave.
Have you ever turned onto a street for the first time and felt a magical quality that appeals to your senses? You look to the left and right and think, “Wow, this is nice.” Why are some streets charming and memorable, while others are bland and forgettable? What characteristics create an aesthetically pleasing streetscape? Last week, while writing about the The Five Most Beautiful City Streets in Nashville, TN, I realized there were similar qualities in each one. They each had The Five Components of a Beautiful Street:
5. Evenly sized lots and setbacks. The consistent arrangement of houses in equal distances from the street creates a pleasant sense of order. It is visually satisfying. When executed for several blocks, the houses take on the look of a perforated wall. When both sides of the street achieve this, it provides an environment of enclosure. On the other hand, haphazard setbacks and erratic lot spacing feel confusing and less regulated. Equal spacing and setbacks allow all of the structures to contribute together as a team, and their sum is greater than the individual houses.