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The architect recalls his first visit to Rudolph Schindler’s inventive ocean house that has remained in his imagination ever since
Lovell Beach House, Newport Beach, California: 1925-26
Architect: Rudolph Schindler (1887-1953)
I lived in California for four years in the late 1960s to early 1970s, first studying at UCLA and afterwards starting a company called Chrysalis doing all sorts of experimental projects.
I didn’t know about the Lovell Beach House before, but I remember going to see it with Peter Cook, Ron Herron and Arata Isozaki. I suspect they’d been put up to it by Reyner Banham who regarded it as one of the two seminal modern buildings of that period along with Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye.
Access had been organised and the owners, Philip M Lovell and his wife Leah, were there when we visited – they must have been in their 80s by then and I remember looking down from the top floor and seeing them sitting on the sofa. Nothing had been done to the house since it was built in the 1920s, so it had a faded, well-worn look about it.
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