Neutra Furniture Collection by VS

The start of Modernism

Born in 1892 in Vienna, Richard Neutra studied architecture at the Vienna University of Technology. He also attended Adolf Loos’s private school of architecture in Vienna. In Switzerland Neutra worked with the landscape architect, Gustav Ammann and in Berlin with Erich Mendelsohn. In 1923 Neutra went to the USA where he got to know Chicago’s awe-inspiring skyscraper architecture and from time to time worked directly with Frank Lloyd Wright in Taliesin/Wisconsin.

The early days in Vienna

The Vienna of Richard Neutra’s student days was marked by Otto Wagner’s early 20th century buildings and Neutra was a disciple of this important Jugendstil architect.

Architecture and landscape

In 1919 Neutra spent some instructive time with the important Swiss landscape architect, Gustav Ammann. Neutra’s architecture had always displayed a relationship with nature and the concept of bio-realism, his own term for an approach based on an “inherent and inseparable relationship between man and nature”, was testimony to the influence of Ammann.

Interconnectedness with nature

Gustav Ammann sharpened Neutra’s understanding of the development of architecture as always being closely interconnected with nature and the surrounding landscape.

Berlin Modernism

In 1923 Neutra worked with Erich Mendelsohn in Berlin and was involved with many of this important architect’s projects. Experimentation with reinforced concrete, then a brand new material, offered additional opportunities in architectural design.

The New World

In 1925 Neutra moved to the west coast of America, to Los Angeles, where initially he opened an office with the architect, Rudolf Schindler, after which, in 1927, he opened his own architect’s office. He mostly designed bungalows in California, but also worked on multi-housing projects and schools – including planning and designing furniture for his buildings.

Rebirth of modern classics

Neutra’s furniture designs for his Californian clients from the 1920s until the 1940s are now being re-issued as the Neutra Furniture Collection by VS in collaboration with Dion Neutra, Richard Neutra’s son and former architectural partner. The chairs, cantilevers and dining and occasional tables in this unique collection can give expression to their eloquent and distinctive character in many very different surroundings – in private living spaces as well as in the prestigious reception areas of offices and lounges or in hotel lobbies.

Boomerang Chair for Nesbitt House

The Boomerang Chair has long been iconic: It was designed by Neutra in the 1940s in different versions as easy furniture for projects including the Channel Heights housing development, Nesbitt House (pictured) and Logar House. The sweeping side pieces and straight oak rounded poles in combination with webbing are a hallmark of the era.

National popularity

In 1945 Neutra even presented his Boomerang Chair in the popular Women’s Day Magazine. He was celebrated there as “one of America‘s leading interior designers”.

Low Round Table

Its formal language crisp and clear and timelessly modern: The Low Round Table with solid wood frame was originally designed in 1942 for the Channel Heights housing project, but also made its way into many other Neutra houses.

Low Organic Table

Neutra first presented the design for this low occasional table in 1945, together with the Boomerang Chair, in the Women’s Day Magazine. The table frame is made from solid oak and forms a stable base for the organically balanced free-form surface. This modern and spacious occasional table can be optimally combined with Lounge Chairs and Sofas.

Channel Heights Stool

In 1942 Neutra also designed this compact oak stool as a modern, simple and practical piece of furniture for the Channel Heights housing project. The stool can also be used as a small occasional table for which the seat is simply removed.

Lovell Health House, Los Angeles 1929

Through the planning and construction of Lovell Health House, Neutra became known internationally. It was the first family house to be built in the USA with the steel skeletal construction that Neutra was familiar with from his time in Chicago. The house fits boldly into its environment, formally immersed in the green hills of Los Feliz in Los Angeles. Large glass areas create a high degree of transparency and minimize the contrast between inside and out. The house is also famous as the setting for numerous Hollywood productions such as L.A. Confidential.

Alpha Seating / armchair and sofa

The chair and two or three-seater sofa are based on Neutra’s designs for Lovell Health House. Neutra developed the Alpha Seating in strictly cubic form – but it is asymmetrical to create inviting places for reading in his houses. Balanced in its dimensions, this seating is pure elegance.

Dinette Table / Low Dinette Table

Dining table and occasional table: The classic wooden tables with their distinctive capped edges reflect an element of Neutra’s architectural roof design, for example that of Tremaine House from 1948. The low occasional table can be optimally combined with the Alpha Seating.

International style

At the historic 1932 “Modern Architecture” exhibition at the New York Museum of Modern Art, where his Lovell House design and other works were on show, Richard Neutra was presented as the only architect from the American west coast. What was being celebrated there was a new style - the “International Style” - that united modern European architects with those of the USA.

Crafted now for the first time – the Lovell Easy Chair

This version of the Lovell Easy Chair was designed by Neutra in 1929 for the Lovell Health House in Los Angeles, but not actually manufactured at the time. Up until a short while ago the design existed only as a drawing. Created now for the very first time from the architect’s original drawing, the chair is in the Neutra Furniture Collection by VS; its slim and dynamic steel frame points clearly to its potential to be a modern classic.

Neutra’s sketched design

Richard J. Neutra’s 1929 sketch of the Lovell Easy Chair is kept today in the archives of UCLA, University of California, Los Angeles.

Lovell Easy Chair Steel

The tubular steel frame of the leather chair is reminiscent of Bauhaus furniture; formally however it displays exciting dynamism. The generously proportioned armrests are in counterpoint to the rest – made from solid oak they offer comfort and stability.

Ensemble with Ottoman

In the Neutra Furniture Collection by VS, the Lovell Easy Chair Steel is offered with a matching upholstered stool (Ottoman) that complements the chair perfectly and creates an impressive ensemble.

Cantilever Chair

The distinctive steel spring distinguishes Neutra’s design from other classic cantilever designs of the period. By means of this construction, seat mobility is separated from the backrest – an ergonomic plus. The Cantilever Chair was originally designed in 1929 for Lovell Health House. VS offers the cantilever now as the Cantilever Conference Chair, at normal conference chair seat height.

US Patent 1936

Neutra filed a patent application for the Cantilever Chair.

Cantilever Chair Wood

Neutra‘s design variant of the Cantilever Chair for Branch House, Los Angeles, 1942. The oak frame with wide armrests offers high-level comfort and allows the chair to integrate perfectly in a private living space.

Neutra in Los Angeles

Richard Neutra surrounded himself in his own home in Los Angeles with furniture of his own design such as the Cantilever Chair.

Tremaine Side Chair

Designed by Neutra in 1948 for Tremaine House in Montecito, this dining chair embodies perfectly the design of the beginning of the 1950s and the cocktail party and dry martini lifestyle – a masterpiece in Neutra’s California Style. The chair backrest is flexible for a high degree of comfort. The Tremaine Side Chair combined with the Camel Table creates a dining area that can be both prestigious and inviting.

Dining Armchair Wood

Dining table chair with molded wood frame, also as a Dining Chair without armrests.

Camel Table

The idea for this combined dining and occasional table came to Neutra as he observed how a camel sits down – first going down on its knees. He translated this principle to this multi-functional table: The legs can be folded up and the result is a low occasional table height. The Camel Table version with steel legs was designed by Neutra in 1951 for his Logar House / Granada Hills, the design for the one with wooden legs preceded it in1940 - for Kahn House in San Francisco.

One table, two table heights

The camel was the model: By folding the table legs, Neutra’s Camel Table is transformed from dining table to low occasional table.

Time cover story

Time Magazine honored Neutra in 1949 with a cover story naming him a significant representative of the “International Style”.

Slipper Chair

Comfortable and timeless, clean straight lines: Neutra himself never actually developed this compact chair; it existed only as a sketch. In the Neutra Furniture Collection by VS the sketch has been made into a real piece of Neutra furniture – a chair with dimensions that are solid but restrained; an enticing seat which suits many different surroundings.

Low Occasional Table / Tea Table

Restrained but still very distinctive: The occasional and tea table are both impressive with their independent, curved free-form surface. The segment-like straight line invites you to place the tables directly against a wall. As small and large occasional tables they are perfect companions to Lounge Sofas or Easy Chairs.

Neutra‘s bio-realism

Neutra‘s foremost concern in his architectural work: The integration of man and his house into the natural world; the opening and interconnection of the interior and exterior – this is what he termed bio-realism. His preoccupation with a holistic approach can be seen too in the interior furnishing of his houses.

Richard Neutra:

“A properly designed house is not a static body, but rather to some extent a mirror of the natural events happening all around it, and thus always refreshing for the mind.”

Neutra in Europe

In the 1960s Richard Neutra designed numerous houses in Europe, mostly commissioned in Germany and Switzerland. Interest in Neutra’s work and ideas had been arriving for some time in the old world from California. Thus for example, Haus Rang in Königstein im Taunus, 1964, where Neutra carefully and organically integrated the house into its natural surroundings.

Return to Vienna

From 1966 to 1969 Richard Neutra and his wife Dione were back in Vienna; in 1969 they both returned to Los Angeles.

Lecture tour

1970 Neutra, together with Dione, went on a lecture tour through Europe. On April 16 Richard Neutra died of a heart attack while in Wuppertal.

“Mooring for the soul”

According to his “bio-realistic” understanding of architecture, houses for Neutra were “mooring for the soul”, as he put it in his book “Auftrag für Morgen”, published in Germany in 1962 (“Life and Shape”, New York 1962). They should be designed for their owners in a modern way, but offer recreation close to nature.

A modern furniture family

Now, thanks to VS’s collaboration with Dion Neutra, and its exclusive right to manufacture, customers can once again access the unique designs of architect and furniture designer Richard Neutra.

Classics re-issued

A pioneer of Modernism can be rediscovered – in a furniture collection spanning the European Bauhaus tradition and the Californian Style.

Neutra presented worldwide

VS has owned the exclusive rights to Neutra furniture since 2012. The designs that were originally for individual items and small series for the villas and houses of clients in California or in existence only as rough sketches, have been researched, documented and developed as a re-edition for the Neutra Furniture Collection by VS. The result is an exclusive handcrafted collection presented worldwide at international design and furniture exhibitions.

imm cologne 2014

The Neutra Furniture Collection by VS was first presented at this leading international trade fair for furnishing and interior design in Cologne. The feedback from visitors was impressive, interest from the press remarkable and a range of voices in the trade expressed their praise. Using an inviting and comfortable space of 150 m² at their trade stand, VS presented their exclusive handcrafted collection to around 120,000 imm visitors. The special features and beauty of Neutra’s furniture designs were enhanced by the warm wood flooring, light colors, high-quality fabrics and carpets and the installation of a fireplace wall.

A+D Architecture and Design Museum, Los Angeles

The A+D Architecture and Design Museum in Los Angeles dedicated a 5-week exhibition period to the Neutra Furniture Collection issued by VS for the first time. The design-oriented public were enthusiastic: Most had already associated the architect, Richard J. Neutra, with some of the best-known houses and villas of Californian Modernism. But most were surprised to see that Neutra’s life’s work also included a range of impressive furniture designs created for those buildings. Visitors to the exhibition, “A pioneer of the International Style, the undiscovered Furniture Designer”, were suitably curious. With the Neutra Furniture Collection by VS, Neutra’s designs are returning to the US more than 90 years after the architect’s emigration from Europe to Chicago.

May Design Series, London

The 2014 May Design Series in London opened its doors from May 17 – 19 presenting new ideas in kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms, lighting, innovative design and interior furnishings. A special exhibition, DX Freight, showcased highlights from trade shows in Stockholm, Milan, Cologne and Paris. Architonic, the international online research portal used by architects and designers, was responsible for compiling a best-of selection from the imm cologne 2014 which included amongst others the Cantilever Chair from the Neutra Furniture Collection by VS.

International Contemporary Furniture Fair, New York

With more than 600 exhibitors, the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) in New York is the most significant design show in North America. VS took the opportunity to present their Neutra Furniture Collection by VS to the American design public. It met with great interest as, of course, the architect, Richard J. Neutra realised many of his best-known villas in the USA.

D’DAYS, Paris

The annual D’DAYS exhibition in Paris is a very unique kind of show. It transforms the French metropolis into a gigantic design museum. At the Mona Bismarck American Center for art & culture, Jacques Barret, director of the Paris Triode Design Showrooms, presented the exhibition “American Design – Paris / New York”. Both the Cantilever Chair and the Boomerang Chair from the Neutra Furniture Collection by VS were featured, representing modern classics of the International Style. And Elle Decoration, the prestigious interior design magazine, devoted several pages to the exhibition.

To the Elle Decoration article

To purchase Neutra furniture

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