Several years ago, following my introduction of Sherlock Jr. at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood, Los Angeles architect John Trautmann approached me to ask if I had noticed the famous Schindler house which appears in the background as Buster speeds along on his motorcycle. Located at 835. N. Kings Road, this home would come to be revered as one of the most influential structures of the 20th century.
R. M. Schindler was a progressive architect who emigrated from Vienna to work with Frank Lloyd Wright, first in Chicago in 1918, and then in Los Angeles in 1920. Setting off on his own, Schindler built the Kings Road House in 1922, and for the next three decades went on to experiment with shaping space and making liveable, iconoclastic houses and apartments, mostly throughout Los Angeles.
The Kings Road House is still standing with its grounds intact, although hemmed in now by modern apartment buildings. Organized on a “pinwheel” plan, in which vistas fly out from the core living spaces into the gardens beyond, it was built as a duplex, where each family could have its own indoor/outdoor realm. Concrete slabs were poured flat on the ground and tilted vertically to form the walls, in which vertical strips of glass serve as windows. The home’s rooftop sleeping porch is evident in the 1924 movie frame, but was yet to be constructed in the matching 1922 photo.
The Schindler House is now home to the MAK Center for Art and Architecture.