Rudolph M. Schindler (1887-1953)


Rudolph Michael Schindler (1887-1953) was born in Vienna, Austria. Schindler trained in Vienna at the Technische Hochschule, from which he graduated in 1911 and at the Akademie der bildenden Kunsteunder where he studied under Otto Wagner. He also came under the influence of Adolf Loos and his informal salons in Vienna.
Schindler emigrated to the U.S. in 1914. He worked for the Chicago firm of Ottenheimer, Stern and Reichert. Between 1917-1921, he worked with Frank Lloyd Wright, first in Chicago and Taliesin, then in Los Angeles where he moved in 1920 to help supervise the Barnsdall Hollyhock house.
In Los Angeles he set up his own architectural practice, working briefly with the engineer, Claude Chase (1921-1923), and as a partner with Richard Neutra in The Architecture Group for Industry and Commerce (AGIC) (1926-1927). In his lifetime he completed about 150 buildings, most of them in Los Angeles. His uncanny ability to design three-dimensional spaces (he called himself a “space architect”) sets him apart from most other modern architects. His house, which he designed and built on Kings Road in Los Angeles in 1921-1922, is considered by some historians to be the “first modern house.”


Rudolph M. Schindler, architect


R. M. Schindler papers, Architecture & Design Collection. Art, Design & Architecture Museum; University of California, Santa Barbara.




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Collection Items

Rudolph Schindler: Neighborhood Center (Chicago, Ill.)
In 1914, the Chicago Architectural Club held a competition to design a neighborhood civic complex. This was Schindler's entry, featuring a very clean lines and a rectilinear plan.

Rudolph Schindler: Bennati Cabin (Lake Arrowhead, Calif.)
The distinctive A-frame shape of the Gisela Bennati cabin is possibly one of the earliest uses of the style as a residence in the United States. The steeply pitched roof is a very good choice for the Lake Arrowhead region, since the lake is at a high…

Rudolph Schindler: Gould and Bandini Workmen''s Colony housing development (Los Angeles, Calif.)
The housing development for Gould and Bandini was a series of small houses for single workers or small families. This project was never built.

Rudolph Schindler: Harriman's Colony
This rendering of Harriman's Colony is a birds-eye view of a planned community, possibly in San Gabriel. The client, Job Harriman was a lawyer and ran for mayor of Los Angeles in 1911 as a socialist. After his failed mayoral bid, Harriman started a…

Rudolph Schindler: Korsen bungalow court (Los Angeles, Calif.)
In the 1920s the 'bungalow court' was a common form of affordable housing in the Los Angeles region. With small units lining the sides of a city lot, perpendicular to the street, a courtyard is formed between the units. This style allowed each unit…

Rudolph Schindler: Falk apartments (Los Angeles, Calif.)
The apartment complex for Ted Falk at the corner of Lucile and Carnation avenues in Los Angeles, is one of the more complex designs for a Schindler apartment building. The four apartments are set on an irregular-shaped lot, on a steeply sloping hill.…

Rudolph Schindler: Sardi's Restaurant (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Schindler designed the interior of the restaurant for Adolph Edward Brandstatter, including the furnishings. The restaurant, on Hollywood Boulevard near Vine, was popular with the Hollywood movie stars. It was originally open 24 hours per day and…

Rudolph Schindler: Wolfe house (Avalon, Santa Catalina Island, Calif.)
The Charles H. and Ethel Wolfe house was a single-family house with views of Avalon Bay, ocean, and natural landscapes. The mezzanine level was the street level and included the garage, small bedroom with full bath, kitchen, terrace, and living room…

Rudolph Schindler: El Pueblo Ribera Court (La Jolla, Calif.)
This twelve unit complex of duplexes, built for San Diego dentist W.L. Lloyd, showcased how Schindler was able to incorporate many of his modern plans into a multi-unit complex. Each unit had a ground floor living area, outdoor garden space, and an…

Rudolph Schindler: Toole house (Palm Desert, Calif.)
This desert house for Maryon (also listed as Marian) Toole, is located in Palm Desert, which at the time was an unincorporated area known as Palm Village. It features stone walls with wood framing, large glass walls and clerestory windows to let in…

Rudolph Schindler: Buena Shore Club (Chicago, Ill.)
This very early work of Schindler was done while he was still in the employ of the Chicago architecture firm Otternheim, Stern, and Reichert, just prior to Schindler leaving to work for Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin. Built at Buena Avenue and…

Rudolph Schindler: Irving house (Wilmette, Ill.)
The James B. Irving house was a temporary home designed by Schindler while he was employed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Schindler designed the home quickly, after Irving requested a temporary home since his had been destroyed by a tornado.
The Irvings…

Rudolph Schindler portraits
These photographs capture Schindler at the construction site for the Walker house and in a more composed setting later in life.

Rudolph Schindler: Popenoe cabin (Coachella, Calif.)
The small, square house for Paul Popenoe and his wife contained two bedrooms, a bathroom, and the exterior walls were ringed with porches that could be covered to act as sleeping porches and an extension of the living space. A central living area…

Rudolph Schindler Lovell cabin (Wrightwood, Calif.)
Dr. Philip Lovell was a doctor who commissioned multiple projects from Schindler, including his beach house in Newport Beach. This cabin in Wrightwood was to be a simple weekend getaway cabin for the doctor and his wife Leah and their family. The…

Rudolph Schindler: Laurelwood apartments (Studio City, Calif.)
The Laurelwood Apartments were the last grouping of apartments Schindler designed before he died. The complex of twenty two-bedroom, one-bath apartments is set on a sloping lot, with each apartment having either a private patio or terrace and a…

Rudolph Schindler: Bethlehem Baptist Church (Los Angeles, Calif.)
The Bethlehem Baptist Church on South Compton Avenue in Los Angeles is Schindler's only religious structure. It is one of very few examples of modern architecture in South Los Angeles. The African-American church congregation commissioned Schindler…

Rudolph Schindler: Free Public Library (Jersey City, NJ)
At the time Schindler submitted a design for the Bergen Branch of the Free Public Library Competition in Jersey City, New Jersey, he was working for Frank Lloyd Wright in Oak Park, Illinois.
Schindler did not win the competition, and was not even…

Rudolph Schindler: Rubinstein reception room (Hollywood, Calif.)
The reception room / salon interior design for Helena Rubinstein by Schindler was for a building on the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue. Helena Rubinstein, the cosmetics entrepreneur, also commissioned Shindler to design a salon in…

Rudolph Schindler: Meline Photoplay building (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Schindler designed preliminary sketches for this high-rise office tower for the Frank Meline Company. The Photoplay building featured a top floor clubhouse for the Photoplayers, which included a ballroom/dining room, men's and women's lounges, a…

Rudolph Schindler: Mackey apartments (Los Angeles, Calif.)
The Mackey apartments were designed in 1939 for Pearl Mackey. Three apartments were rented out, with the fourth, a two-story penthouse, was for Mrs. Mackey herself. Each unit had a different layout, and included built-in furniture, outdoor spaces,…

Rudolph Schindler: Sachs Apartments (Los Angeles, Calif.)
The Manola Court apartments were designed by Schindler for his friend Herman Sachs, on a steep hillside in the Silverlake area of Los Angeles. Sachs was the muralist and painter of the interiors for LA landmarks such as City Hall, Union Station, and…

Rudolph Schindler: Barnsdall Translucent house (Palos Verdes, Calif.)
Rudolph Schindler first worked with Aline Barnsdall on the Hollyhock House, when Frank Lloyd Wright sent Schindler to California from Illinois to supervise the construction while Wright went to Japan to work on the Imperial Hotel. Schindler continued…

Rudolph Schindler: Martin country home (Taos, NM)
This "Country house in adobe" for Dr. Thomas P. Martin was one of Schindler's earliest designs in the United States. After spending one week touring Taos, Schindler was influenced by the adobe and pueblo structures in the town.

Rudolph Schindler: Braxton beach house (Los Angeles, Calif.)
The beach house for Henry Braxton and his wife Viola Brothers Shore was to be sited along the ocean in the Venice Beach area of Los Angeles. The three story house (with sleeping porch and deck on the roof) was never built. Braxton was an art dealer…

Rudolph Schindler: Harris house (Los Angeles, Calif.)
The house designed for writer Rose Harris was built on top of a rocky ridge in the Laurel Canyon area of Los Angeles. The steep hillside site provided an unobstructed view down the canyon, but the footprint of the house was small, due to the…

Rudolph Schindler: Tischler house (Los Angeles, Calif.)
The Adolphe Tischler house, on a sloping hillside in the Westwood area of Los Angeles, has a street facade that is reminiscent of the prow of a ship. The street level contained a carport and artist's workshop, while the main entrance and living space…

Rudolph Schindler: Oliver house (Los Angeles, Calif.)
The house for William Oliver in the Silverlake area of Los Angeles is set on a steep lot, with views to the ocean and mountains. The garage is at street level, and the house is above, at a 45 degree angle to take advantage of the views and access the…

Rudolph Schindler: Rose beach colony (Santa Monica, Calif.?)
The beach colony with semi-circular beach cottages was planned for Santa Monica and possibly named the "Cabania City Project" by A.E. Rose. One prototype beach cottage was built, but the rest of the colony was not constructed.

Rudolph Schindler: Van Patten house (Los Angeles, Calif.)
This hillside house in the Silverlake area of Los Angeles was built for Elizabeth Van Patten and two other women, as three separate apartments with communal areas. Schindler also designed the furniture for the house.

Rudolph Schindler: Goodwin house (Los Angeles, Calif.)
This house in the Studio City area of Los Angeles, was built in 1941 for Samuel and Yolanda Goodwin. The two-bedroom plus den house is sited on a street-to-street lot, with views of the valley.

Rudolph Schindler: Roth house (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Roxy Roth was a screenwriter and actor who commissioned Schindler to design a house in the Studio City area of Los Angeles. The house is on an irregular-shaped lot, with a curved driveway/covered garage with an entrance and exit. The house is sited…

Rudolph Schindler: Walker house (Los Angeles, Calif.)
The house Schindler designed for Ralph G. Walker overlooks the Silverlake reservoir on a steeply sloping site. The three bedroom, two bath house is a series of interlocking planes and cubes, with clerestory windows and expansive views. Schindler…

Rudolph Schindler: Lee house alterations (Maywood, Ill.)
This house alteration for J.B. Lee was in the Chicago suburb of Maywood. The project was completed by Schindler when he worked for the architecture firm Ottenheimer Stern and Reichert.

Rudolph Schindler: Shep house (Los Angeles, Calif.)
The house for Milton and Ruth Shep was designed to sit on a steep slope in the Silverlake area of Los Angeles. Ruth Shep also commissioned Schindler to design furniture for the house.

Rudolph Schindler: Janson house (Los Angeles, Calif.)
This house for poet Ellen Janson, is perched on the edge of a cliff, high in the Hollywood Hills area of Los Angeles. Janson was a modernist poet, and is widely considered Schindler's last girlfriend.

Rudolph Schindler: Kallis house (Studio City, Calif.)
The Maurice Kallis house is sited on a north-facing slope in Studio City, with a wide view of the San Fernando Valley. The house originally contained a separate apartment and detached artist studio, but is now a single family home.

Rudolph Schindler: How house (Los Angeles, Calif.)
The James Eads How house in the Silverlake area of Los Angeles, is sited on top of a ridge, with views of the San Fernando Valley. The house at 2400 square feet, is large for a Schindler, and is built with center-cut redwood and poured concrete.…

Rudolph Schindler: DeKeyser duplex (Los Angeles, Calif.)
The house for John DeKeyser (also spelled de Keysor), is a duplex with a two bedroom unit on the top floor and a one bedroom unit on the lower floor.
This house is just one house away from the Frank Lloyd Wright Freeman house, on the hill above.

Rudolph Schindler: Erlik house (Los Angeles, Calif.)
The Robert and Mariana Erlik house was built in the Hollywood Hills section of Los Angeles in the early 1950s.

Rudolph Schindler: Hiler house and studio (Los Angeles, Calif,)
Hilaire Hiler was a well-known artist in the United States and Europe in the 1920s and 1930s. He commissioned Schindler to build this house and studio, just off of Sunset Boulevard. The house was torn down in the 1960s.

Rudolph Schindler: Kaun beach house (Richmond, Calif.)
The beach house for Alexander "Sasha" Kaun and his wife Valeria was featured in many architecture magazines in the 1930s as an example of a small, inexpensive house. Kaun was a professor of Slavic languages at UC Berkeley and his wife was a famous…

Rudolph Schindler: Van Dekker house (Canoga Park, Calif.)
This large (3700 square feet) house was built in Canoga Park for actor Albert Van Dekker and his family. The three-level house sits under an unusual copper roof.
The Van Dekker house was declared a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 2009.

Rudolph Schindler: Lovell beach house (Newport Beach, Calif.)
The beach house commissioned by Phillip Lovell is widely regarded as one of the best examples of modernist architecture by Schindler. With rough, exposed, concrete forms, open staircases, two story living room, and windows facing the ocean, the beach…

Rudolph Schindler: Monolith house (Racine, Wis.?)
Schindler was working for Frank Lloyd Wright when Thomas Hardy commissioned a series of 18 worker houses near Racine, Wisconsin.

Rudolph Schindler: Bubeshko apartments (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Anastasia Bubeshko and her daughter Luby commissioned Schindler to design an apartment complex on Griffith Park Boulevard in the Silverlake neighborhood in Los Angeles. They wanted a modular design on the sloping lot, one which could contain 5…
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