Lord House in Los Angeles, a mid-century modern residence designed by the legendary architect Richard Neutra in 1961, has been given a new lease on life by architects Dora Chi and Erik Amir of spatial practice. Neutra was an Austrian-American architect living and designing for the majority of his career in Southern California. He came to be considered a prominent and important modernist architect. His most notable works include the Kaufmann Desert House in Palm Springs, California.
Lord House is a secluded gem perched at the top of a ridge that was purchased by Chi and Amir in a dilapidated state. The due embarked on an ambitious restoration project that aimed to restore the home to its former glory while meeting the needs of contemporary living.
The restoration involved modernizing the bathrooms and kitchen, adding an extra structure that serves as a guest house, and breathing new life into many of the interior spaces. The original terrazzo flooring, three-sided fireplace, and other signature features of Neutra’s design language were preserved, while Chi and Amir added their own touches, including a custom white oak kitchen that complements the original design of the building.
The renovated Lord House is a tasteful example of how to preserve the original intent of a building’s design while adding contemporary touches. According to Chi, they were captured by the simplicity and purposeful design towards nature by Neutra that made the quality of space so unique. Meanwhile, Amir explains that the project was very challenging and rewarding, especially as an architect creating their own home.
The addition, which has an architectural identity of its own, respects the existing house and contains a series of floating planes connected by a floating canopy built around a tall Cypress tree. The loose curves of the landscape and pool come into juxtaposition with the orthogonal layout of the house, creating various green nooks, while rocks and stones placed strategically throughout the gardens exude a sense of tranquility. The Lord House renovation is a fitting tribute to Richard Neutra’s legacy, and a testament to the power of thoughtful restoration to revive a timeless classic.
In case you missed it, see Casa Mateo, a seaside house in Zihuatanejo, Mexico.