In architecture, as elsewhere, sex sells

In the early days of modern architecture, its alien forms were sold to the public using science. Architect Richard Neutra’s “Health House” – designed and built between 1927-29 for physician Philip Lovell in the Griffith Park neighbourhood of Los Angeles – was featured in newspapers and magazines all over the world.

Mr. Neutra’s four-storey, steel-framed and stucco-clad house was graceful in the way it clung to its hillside site. But far outweighing any discussion of architectural merit were reports of its fresh-air sleeping porches, large areas of glass (to allow life-giving sunlight to penetrate), exercise and sports areas and the water-purification and juicing facilities in the kitchen.

Even before that, in 1923, architect Le Corbusier wrote: “A house is a machine for living in.”

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