Plasmatic Demo Reel 2012
Steel and Shade: The Architecture of Don Wexler
Killing Time
Out Of Egypt

Available now from the iTunes Store

Richard Joseph Neutra was a giant of modern architecture. Time magazine confirmed this by putting him on the cover of their magazine on August 15, 1949. Today he is best remembered for the International style houses he built in Southern California between 1925 and 1950. These early houses feature thin white stucco walls, long bands of windows, and stacked prism compositions. During his career Neutra completed close to 300 projects under his own name. In addition to designing houses, Neutra worked on a number of large institutional and multi-family housing projects (most designed during his partnership with Robert Alexander), and published numerous books and essays about modern construction systems and his own architecture theories.

Plasmatic Concepts is proud to announce the release of “Neutra VDL Studio and Residences.” This iPad app explores Richard Neutra’s Mid-Century Modernist masterpiece located in Los Angeles. As you may already know, Sarah Lorenzen of Plasmatic has been the house’s Resident Director since 2007. This unique position enables her to share with the public a living architectural experience of this seminal structure from the inside out.

The iPad app includes never seen before photography of the house along with photographs of famed architectural photographer Julius Shulman, courtesy of the J. Paul Getty Trust. An interactive timeline, rotating 3D models, plans and sections, are some of the features that make this beautifully designed 260 page app (130 pages, 2 orientations) a must have for anyone passionate about this fascinating period in architecture.

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This Ipad publication focuses primarily on the Van der Leeuw (VDL) Research Studio and Residences located in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles. There are many reasons we chose to highlight this particular Neutra project: it was Neutra’s own family residence and workplace; it was built in three phases offering insight into the evolution of Neutra’s architectural ideas; and it is today the only Neutra residence regularly open to the public.

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Construction of the VDL houses spans the period of 1932-1965, the years when Neutra made his greatest impact on world architecture. The original 1932 house is a monument to the influence that European International Style Modernism had on American soil. It is also a great example on how to design higher-density, mixed-use housing on a small lot. The house accommodated two families and an office on a 60×70 foot lot. While a fire destroyed most of this first house in 1963, the lower level garage, darkroom, bedroom-study, storage, and prefabricated concrete rafters survive.The1939-40 Garden House reflects the adaptation of a machine aesthetic to the mild southern California climate. The T-shaped house and resulting courtyards show Neutra’s interest in blurring the boundaries between inside and outside, and creating exterior living areas. Following the destruction of VDL I, Richard Neutra, working in collaboration with his architect son Dion, built VDL II on the footprint of its predecessor. The 1964-65 project continued Neutra’s interest in bringing nature into the house, but this incarnation has greater material and spatial complexity. All three houses offered Neutra a laboratory where he could test his theories about space and form, new materials and technologies, and the relationship of human health to natural systems.

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Today the VDL Research Studio and Residences is owned by the Cal Poly Pomona Foundation and managed by Cal Poly Pomona’s College of Environmental Design. The authors of this publication have lived on the property since fall of 2007. Together they oversee the complex’s maintenance and restoration efforts, tours of the property, community outreach, and fundraising activities. Tours of the house are given by Cal Poly Pomona architecture students most Saturdays from 11am to 3pm. For more information on how you can visit the house, attend events, or contribute to ongoing restoration efforts visit www.neutra-vdl.org

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The app will be released in October 2011. Price TBA.

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