Schindler's Lovell Beach House

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Schindler's Lovell Beach House

Postby Shady » Thu Jan 25, 2007 11:35 pm

I am new here, but had a question about Schindler's Lovell Beach House. Obviously the house has changed considerably since it was built, with some thought going into the design of the changes.

Do you think the changes are consitent with Schindler's initial design, and what is acceptable when it comes to adding on to a house like that? As long as the bones reamain unaltered and the design of the change is close enough, is it ok to make modifications?

From the pictures I have seen the house has had various window treatments over the years. In my opinion roller shades have looked the best, given their clean appearance they provide a canvas for lines of the windows. I think anything else would take away from that. What do you think??? I like modern 'tech' shades and think they fit the house well.

Thanks
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Postby mx2 » Fri Jan 26, 2007 2:39 pm

There are distinctions between the terms preservation, restoration, and renovation. The "bones" are not what defines these terms but more of the architectural character of the finished product...(how it looks). Either elements were restored/preserved to Architects original intent, or not. Just compare new to old photos...

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Postby SDR » Sat Jan 27, 2007 12:58 am

Why do I think you might be in it for the "shades". . .? :wink:

As far as I know, the house has remained in its original form since it was built, though at some point(s) a lot of the exterior was subjected to the disfigurement of paint.

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I could be in it for the shades.

Postby Shady » Sun Jan 28, 2007 4:25 pm

There is some curiousity about what is acceptable when it goes beyond just restoration and you start adding on to the house. All of the bedrooms were enlarged by enclosing their private sleeping porches. The style of the windows has changed, esp. the main front window. The front bedroom was pushed out, and the outdoor living space underneath the house was closed in. Not to mention the walled in courtyard, etc.

Yes, the paint scheme seems critical to highlighting the architectural elements. It looks like there have been several different ideas tried over the years. I wish the concrete frames had remained unpainted, but there are probably reasons for doing so. Now the entry side of the house has the frames painted white, so they get lost in the white underside of the bedrooms.

Alright, I'll admit shades are my favorite window treatment when it comes to modern architecture that has a view. With solar fabric the view can be preserved, and with the clean lines of a roller shade it just seems to fit. The home looks to have had verticals, curtains, rollers, and other treatments over the years. But with all of the horizontal lines, I didn't like the look of the verticals. And with no place for the curtains to stack, with the chages to the front window, it seems like roller shades are prefered.

I might be biased, but do you have an opinion of what window treatment looks best when it comes to this style of architecture?
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Postby phansford » Mon Jan 29, 2007 9:39 am

Before (?)

Image

After (?)
Image

I not sure these photos are right, but I thought it would add to the conversation.

I would be hard-pressed to think an architect was involved in enclosing the balconies (sleeping porches). If the whole house was renovated, then possible. But they could have easily been enclosed by hiring a local contractor, albeit with some level of taste to create a decent looking mullion pattern.

Personally, I think the "additions" take away from the complexity of light and shadow created by the original design. Also, I think the constructed notion of the orignal design is greatly diminished. This all go to show..... you can buy a big house or a famous house, but you can't buy class and taste.

As far as shades..... that's personal preference. I might think a vertical blind system was acceptable for the large opening on the side, while a roller shade more suited for a smaller ribbon openings at the street. You might think the opposite. As long as there is a though process in the selection and its defensible, I really don't care. Of course any of the "designers" from HGTV were involved, they would insist on installing padded valances and painting the whole building puke orange :lol:

Sorry for the bloated second image size, I could find a smaller file.
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Postby csintexas » Mon Jan 29, 2007 1:09 pm

I liked the original better. There would be absolutely no way to tell whether this was done by an architect or not. Who ever did it was not good. My preference would be vertical blinds on the large windows and fabric rollers on the small new windows.
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Postby SDR » Mon Jan 29, 2007 10:23 pm

Shady -- Sorry not to have given this (and you) due respect. It's one of my favorite buildings. (I guess I've been in denial about its condition; thanks for setting the record straight. Once masonry and bare wood are painted, I kind of give up. Any hope for the future of this house ?)

After looking again at these photos, I'd vote for discreet dark/translucent roller shades myself; I somehow think the architect might have, as well. Note the dark drapes (what material and color, do you suppose ?) in the interior shots.

Image
note that this is the same photo as phansford kindly reproduces above, but without inked-in foliage ! shades of FLW. . .

Image
o brave and spacey beast-by-the-sea. how RMS must have loved this shot, with only the house and the sea (and a phone pole stay) visible. . .

Image

Image
Image
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Postby phansford » Tue Jan 30, 2007 9:05 am

SDR - Thanks for the interior photos. The full height textiles (or curtains) are interesting.

I think we forget that the early Modernist did soften the edges of these buildings. I am thinking of Mies use of raw silk drapes in his work with Eileen Gray and Corbu's use of soft pastels at Villa Savoye.

Image
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Postby SDR » Tue Jan 30, 2007 9:03 pm

So right. I think that virtually all of the architecture built and photographed before the middle of the last century, we older fans (especially) know in black-and-white. The books we found to have illustrations of this international treasure trove, were filled with (often) the earliest photos of each structure, and few color photos. So we had little or no impression of color. . .

It was only fairly recently that I learned of the world of Corbu's color. This Google entry is pertinent; leave it to an academic paper to speak of color, with no illustrations ?

[PDF]
Prefabricated rolls of oil paint: Le Corbusier’s 1931 colour keyboards
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - View as HTML
AIC 2004 Color and Paints, Interim Meeting of the International Color Association, Proceedings. 198. Prefabricated rolls of oil paint:. Le Corbusier’s 1931 ...
www.fadu.uba.ar/sitios/sicyt/color/aic2004/198-202.pdf - Similar pages

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Postby Shady » Fri Feb 02, 2007 6:22 pm

Well, 'csintexas' it turns out Schindler was involved in enclosing the sleeping porches in 1928, according to the Historic American Buildings Survey of 1968.

'SDR' thank you for all of the early photos, they are very revealing. You can see the wrap around balcony that faces east (with ocean being south). And from the plans available at HABS of 1968 you can see the stairs that were on that side too. Both having been removed.

Also with those plans you can see the changes to the kitchen and entry level bath. Also the upstairs bath seemed much better in its original design. It was one large bath with an extra toilet, now it is two smaller complete baths.

Most of these changes are due to the owners raising a large family in what was supposed to be a beach retreat. And I suppose the trade off for the changes is that the building has been kept up very well (especially if you look at the B&W photos of the HABS survey of '68, it looked very run down). Hence the replaced windows, because you can see that the window lites that had wood filling them in are rotting.

Good news is that some of the furniture and built-ins are relatively intact (they were supposedly made from the wood used to make the concrete forms). The lamp seen in the interior photo is still there, and so is the hutch/seat that separates the dining room from the living room.

I have noticed all of the planters, that I think were buit into the concrete frames, have been filled in. That is one thing I really liked about the original was the planters.

Thanks everybody for your posts, I am a new fan of Schindler and this house. I may not be an architect, but I know what I like.
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Postby SDR » Fri Feb 02, 2007 11:32 pm

So glad you're here. I'm a cabinetmaker/designer with a lifelong interest in architecture, myself. There's lots more interesting Schindler where that came from. . .

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Postby phansford » Sat Feb 03, 2007 9:24 am

I one thing..... this thread has got me hot for more Schindler. I'm heading over to Half-Price Books today to find a copy of this book.

http://www.taschen.com/pages/en/catalog ... /04330.htm

There is a whole series of these. I have the one on Neutra and Saarinen. VERY NICE. I like them because they are chuck full of color photos, plans and nice project descriptions. Because they are so cheap, I don't mind yanking them off the shelf and having them laying around the studio. If they get damaged, I am only out $10 ...... less than $8 at Half-price Books.
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Postby csintexas » Sat Feb 03, 2007 10:57 am

Oddly enough I was thinking of my earlier statement this morning and was going to amend it by saying the poor quality of the changes could also have been driven by economics.
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Postby SDR » Sat Feb 03, 2007 5:35 pm

Certainly -- at least we have word that Schindler was responsible for some of the changes (or at least responsible for their execution !). It is also good to hear that at least some of the original furnishings are present.

I wonder if a new owner will take on further restoration. . .

phansford: that is one good option. For a bit more, you might find a copy of another Taschen book by the same author; it's a bit larger in format and has twice the pages. Title: Rudolph Michael Schindler; hardcover; 1999. I'd hate for you to miss these photos, for instance. . .

Image
Image

Thsi is the Bubeshko apartments (recently sold, to a responsible owner, apparently).

There are a couple of other Schindler titles out there; the largest and richest is "RM Schindler: Composition and Construction" edited by Lionel March and Judith Scheine (Academy Editions; 1993), with lots of goodies and a large format. Scheine is also the author of a miniature paperbound volume on the architect (look for a white cover) with the most informative drawings of the houses, anywhere.

Anyway, dig in and enjoy ! SDR
Last edited by SDR on Mon Feb 12, 2007 9:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby mx2 » Mon Feb 12, 2007 6:51 pm

Having now been at this new job since December, I am noticing a trend with all preservation projects (the firm's "specialty")...the budgets are more than adequate but they take years to finance, if they ever get financed. Then there are typically a lot of agencies, or personalities, to overcome (convince) while the project remains as is or (more commonly for my assignments it seems) continues to rot away exponentially...until a strand of fiber is left standing and the project now becomes a restoration (reconstruct) project with not nearly enough money AND...the great irony...now has to meet the latest code requirements, many that can significantly impact the design. Surprisingly, it's the energy compliance issues that have the greatest challenges because most buildings back in the day used natural ventilation and the finishes literally covered the structures...not alot of places to hide ductwork without dramatically chaning the proportionms of the spaces or the appearance of the original facades...oh, and almost never can we find "blueprints"...I feel more like a detective most of the time...it's kinda fun to be honest.

:|

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