Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Rudolf M Schindler by James Steele. Taschen, 1999. 180pp. £16.99

  • Comment

Rudolf Schindler must rank among the century's great unsung talents, writes Richard Weston. Working in then far-away Los Angeles, tainted by association with Frank Lloyd Wright, and bad-mouthed by his former friend, Richard Neutra, he was omitted by Philip Johnson from the canon of International Stylists exhibited at New York's Museum of Modern Art in 1932 and never won the recognition and public commissions his talent clearly deserved. All credit, then, to Taschen for bringing us this popular account of his work.

In retrospect, Johnson's judgement was surely correct. Like Wright, Schindler was not interested in a universally applicable language, but in a contextually responsive architecture which embraced the use of local materials such as redwood, and articulated form and space in response to the uniqueness of the topography. And like his first mentor, Adolf Loos, he retained a preference for more compartmentalised plans over the Richard Weston 'free space' of orthodox Modernism. It is precisely these qualities, as James Steele observes in his brief but informative introduction, which make him of such interest now.

As with all Taschen books you get a lot for your money, but not quite as much as might first appear. The high-gloss paper and design do not match the elegance of the subject; the trilingual introduction could be fitted into half the pages; and the notes on each project are relatively perfunctory. More annoyingly, there are no plans and sections. Happily most of the 30-plus projects do have at least basic drawings, and at this price few will think twice before adding the book to their collection.

Richard Weston teaches at De Montfort University, Leicester

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.