After constructing the Kings Road House in West Hollywood using redwood and concrete in 1922, Viennese architect Rudolph M. Schindler continued experimenting with forms and materials throughout Los Angeles, punctuating the hillside neighborhoods with modern structures during the first half of the century. Designed by Schindler for the Armon House in Los Angeles' Mount Washington neighborhood, this desk, like the house, is constructed of sanded pine plywood. The single-family dwelling was built in 1946 toward the tail end of Schindler's robust career when his architectural style had achieved continuity through exposed wood frames and intricate geometrical designs. Utilitarian and spacious, this desk foreshadows commercial models that have become commonplace in the American home.

Rudolph M. Schindler

Rudolph Michael Schindler was an Austrian-born architect and designer who came to define the landscape of mid-century modernism in Southern California. His education began at the Imperial Technical Institute in Vienna from 1906 to 1911 before studying under Otto Wagner and Adolf Loos at the Academy of Fine Arts from 1910 to 1913. Schindler eventually sought the mentorship of Frank Lloyd Wright in Chicago. In 1920, he was hired by Wright to oversee the important Hollyhock House commission in Los Angeles. Schindler would remain in California for the rest of his life.

His iconic home and studio, the Schindler Chase House on Kings Road, set the stage for California Modernism. The construction featured a minimalist approach and linear form built in sleek concrete with sliding glass doors opening to gardens — all of which became staples of the Southern California style. The space was designed for communal living and Schindler shared the space with his wife Pauline among many other important figures, including Richard Neutra and John Cage. Between the years of 1920 and 1953, Schindler designed numerous residential commissions such as the Lovell Beach House (1922), Rodriguez House (1942), Kallis House (1946), and the Tischler House (1949). While Rudolph Schindler’s death was untimely, his legacy and philosophy continue to be celebrated in his iconic structures.

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