The only experience comparing with reading a great book, is watching a great film. And this is what we did last night, making out way to the Architecture and Design Film Festival in Tribeca, and watching the most inspiring, moving, and memorable film, a must for any architecture lover. Directed by Michael Dorsey (Oyler’s step-grandson), “The Oyler House: Richard Neutra’s Desert Retreat” tells the story of one of the less known houses designed by the Austrian-born
modernist architect, but one that bears a fascinating biography regarding the relationship between a patron and a mega-famous architect, between architecture and its stunning desert setting, between modernism and California, and finally between those “caretakers” who live there today. It was built in 1959 for a working-class government employee in the small desert town of Lone Pine, three hours drive from LA, and it brought to a lifelong friendship between Oyler and Neutra. It is a story of a house that was built to live in, a house that is humble, comfortable, and built in a human scale, what we call today “sustainable,” a house that came to substantiate the concepts of mid-century modern design. And then there is actress Kelly Lynch who has lived in the house for two decades with her family, and whose appearance gives the film a whole other fantastic dimension.
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