Restoration / Preservation / Merit
In restoring this two-building apartment complex by the Southern California modernist Rudolph Schindler, architect Eric Haas, AIA, drew two very lucky cards. While worn and altered, the original buildings were essentially intact. More remarkable, one of the original owners, who had developed the property starting in 1938, was still alive. The owner’s memories—along with original drawings and project files—led Haas in a restoration that’s both correct and sympathetic to Schindler’s spirit of practicality and economy.
Haas investigated the subtle, muted color schemes unique to each of the five apartments, experimenting with shellac and Japan colors to restore Schindler’s trademark stained plywood surfaces. The latter were rubbed with beeswax, Haas says, because “Schindler generally hated anything shiny.”
Our judges praised Haas’ fidelity to the original, deeming his approach “almost archaeological.” The result turns the clock back 70 years, “and for a very modest $30 per square foot.”