Schindler's Kings Road House

Posted on by Lauren Moss

If you haven't been to the iconic Schindler House, join us for a virtual tour of one of the most architecturally significant residences in Los Angeles...

Also known as the Kings Road House, this project represents a critical moment in the history of modern architecture in Southern California. Rudolph Schindler, an Austrian who spent several years working with Frank Lloyd Wright, moved west to oversee the construction of the Hollyhock House and embraced California's landscape upon his arrival. He began work on the Kings Road House in the early 20's.


The home was originally designed for four people- Schindler, along with an engineer who shared Schindler's innovative spirit, and their wives. In both design intent and use, as well as construction technology, the Schindler House represents an architecture intrinsically tied to site, climate and the environment.

In the floor plan, Schindler sought to create spaces that enabled a seamless transition between inside and out, while taking advantage the mild climate of Southern California to create outdoor 'rooms'.


Utilizing wood and concrete as primary materials to define spaces, Schindler employed a relatively new method of construction at the time: tilt-up concrete slabs that created a modular rhythm at the interior and exterior and tall narrow windows that appear throughout the spaces.


This rhythm appears in the application of other materials as well, including the wood framed windows and canvas panels that create divisions throughout the space at both the interior and the exterior. Another unique feature of Schindler's design was the inclusion of open-air sleeping lofts at the upper levels; the main floor was segmented into sections designated for each inhabitant, each with its own close relationship with the surrounding environment, created through the inclusion of carefully located patios and outdoor spaces.


The view from the sleeping loft gives visitors a sense of the order and spatial progressions that Schindler created throughout the site.


This courtyard concept is ubiquitous throughout Southern California today, but in the early 20th century, Schindler was a pioneer in this avant-garde approach to living within the landscape. Perhaps the most well-known and significant work of his life, the Kings Road House is a manifestation of that desire to innovate, while creating a new type of relationship with natural surroundings. 


Also, for those interested, an isometric drawing gives a good sense of the overall massing and spatial adjacencies.



Currently, the building is home to the MAK Center for Art and Architecture in L.A., with changing exhibits on view inside. Last month, it was participating in the regional art event, Pacific Standard Time, with the exhibit, Sympathetic Seeing: Esther McCoy and the Heart of American Modernist Architecture and Design.

For more on the house and information on visiting, visit the MAK Center's website, and thanks for stopping by!