Land parcel becomes a blank canvas

A design by Zaha Hadid Architects was among the projects highlighted by a jury of artists and architects who recently judged alternative visions for a property adjacent to the historic Schindler House in West Hollywood.

The MAK Center for Art and Architecture, which operates the Schindler House, had invited a group of people to come up with ideas for the lot on Kings Road, just south of the Schindler House, where a developer plans to build a condominium complex. The invitational was intended to further discussion about the future of the modernist landmark, organizers said.

Of 20 projects submitted, the creators of three received special mention: Odile Decq + Benoit Cornette, Peter Eisenman and Zaha Hadid Architects. (London-based Hadid recently became the first woman to design a major American art museum -- the critically acclaimed Lois and Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati.)

The Schindler House, originally intended as both studio and home, was built by Rudolf M. Schindler in 1922 using concrete, redwood, glass and canvas. With its open floor plan, flat roof and sliding doors, it challenged the traditional distinction between indoor and outdoor space, and the design became a model for later California-style architecture. Schindler, a collaborator of Frank Lloyd Wright and Richard Neutra, worked and lived in the house until his death in 1953.


The jury for the invitational included architects Frank Gehry, Richard Koshalek, Carl Pruscha and Judith Sheine; artists Chris Burden and Michael Asher; and Peter Noever, director of MAK Vienna.

The alternative designs, billed as “A Tribute to Preserving Schindler’s Paradise,” will be on display Aug. 6-31 at the Schindler House, 835 N. Kings Road.

-- Louise Roug