10.22.2013

THE KAUFMANN HOUSE


The Kaufmann House, located in Palm Springs, California, is one of the best-known designs by Richard Neutra, a Viennese-born architect who moved to the United States in the 1920s and designed homes for the next few decades for many wealthy West Coast clients.


Completed between 1946-1947, the Kaufmann House was a vacation home for Edgar J. Kaufmann and his family to escape the harsh winters of the northeast. After Kaufmann died in 1955, the house stood vacant for several years. It then had a series of owners and several renovations.


In 1992 Brent Harris and his wife Beth Edwards Harris bought the house and commissioned Marmol Radziner and Associates to restore it. Without the original plans for the house, the Harrises dug through the Neutra archives at the University of California, Los Angeles, looking at hundreds of Neutra’s sketches of details for the house. They persuaded Julius Shulman to let them examine dozens of never-printed photographs of the home’s interior, and found other documents in the architectural collections at Columbia University.

Describing the results of the restoration in The Los Angeles Times in 1999, Nicolai Ouroussoff, now the architecture critic for The New York Times, said the house could “now be seen in its full glory for the first time in nearly 50 years.”


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