California Modernism, Past and Future

Last week DZINE co-hosted “California Modernism, Past and Future” as part of SF Design Week. The virtual conversation about the West Coast’s lasting influence on Modernism between acclaimed architect Takashi Yanai, a partner at the firm Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney (EYRC), and real estate agent Monique Lombardelli, Founder and CEO of Modern Homes Realty, brought together more than 450 attendees. 

Takashi Yanai shared his thoughts on California modernism and showed EYRC’s award-winning residential work, which is embedded in the legacy of West Coast Modernism. For Takashi, Rudolf Schindler and Richard Neutra are two architects who represent the roots of California modernism that are now manifested in EYRC’s projects.

Spectral Bridge House - EYRC. Photo by Matthew Millman
Spectral Bridge House – EYRC   Photo by Matthew Millman

Influenced by modern European masters, Rudolf Schindler was interested in the work of Frank Lloyd Wright and was invited to work with him before establishing his own practice. Earlier in his career Richard Neutra also worked for Frank Lloyd Wright as well as for Rudolf Schindler – both architects were interested in exploring connection with nature and using industrial materials. 

Kaufmann house - Richard Neutra, 1946. Photo by Julius Shulman.
Kaufmann house – Richard Neutra, 1946    Photo by Julius Shulman

In its architectural practice, EYRC is developing the idea of blurring the boundary of indoors/outdoors and introducing nature into the home’s interior. According to Takashi, EYRC wants to use architecture as a way to tie the living aspect of the house to California’s wonderful climate.

Spectral Bridge House - EYRC. Photo by Matthew Millman
Spectral Bridge House – EYRC    Photo by Matthew Millman

Monique Lombardelli, Founder and CEO of Modern Homes Realty, gave an overview of Joseph Eichler. Eichler was a real estate developer known for his distinctive residential subdivisions of Midcentury modern style tract housing in California. He was inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright and California Modernism and aspired to make this type of home affordable to everyone.

Eichler Life house. Photo by Ernie Braun
Eichler Life house    Photo by Ernie Braun

To watch the full talk visit SF Design Week.

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