The Los Angeles Times has reported that Dion Neutra, son of modernist architect Richard Neutra, died this weekend at age 93. Well-known for aggressive stewardship over the family’s architectural legacy, Neutra campaigned heavily throughout his life for the preservation of his father’s work and other modernist buildings. In the early 2000s, he fought to save many of the high-profile and pricey Neutra houses that populated Southern California. At the time, while they were being bought as design “fetish objects,” the younger Neutra believed people also had plans to remodel or demolish them. Neutra was also an accomplished architect in his own right. Dion Neutra was born in 1926, just after his father immigrated from Vienna, Austria, and rose to prominence in L.A. for his now-iconic local dwellings. By the time the younger Neutra was 17 years old, the two began collaborating and spreading their distinct aesthetic influence all over the city. Even in his own projects later in life, Dion Neutra carried forward his father’s architectural ideals, creating largely steel-frame or concrete structures with a heavy use of glass and ample outdoor space—the epitome of SoCal living. Neutra studied architecture at the University of Southern California, graduating in 1950 and immediately going to work for his father. When Richard Neutra died in 1970, Dion became president of the family non-profit, The Neutra Institute for Survival Through Design. One of his most popular projects came after his father’s passing: the Huntington Beach Central Library and Cultural Center completed in 1975. According to the L.A. Times, it “remains a vibrant focal point of the community,” even after 45 years. The last few decades years of Neutra’s life were largely characterized by his long fight to preserve Neutra architecture. In 2004, he famously strapped himself to a bulldozer that was set up to take down his father’s 1962 Cyclorama Center in Gettysburg National Military Park. By 2013, it was demolished. Neutra's last project was a home for his son in Honduras that was completed in 2018. He is survived his wife, his brother Raymond, and his two sons and their families.
Posts tagged with "Dion Neutra":
Architecture lovers, time to get motivated. This Earth Day (April 22) you can celebrate Richard Neutra’s 120th birthday by participating in the Neutra Run-Walk for Health, a 4k or 8k jaunt around LA's Silver Lake Reservoir. “Neutra always stood for health, so it made sense to host this event,” said Dion Neutra, son of the famous architect. Neutra says he hopes the walk will become an annual event for the Neutra Institute. The walking path will start at the Silver Lake Meadow in front of the VDL Research House II, at 2300 Silver Lake Blvd., and continue counter clockwise around the reservoir. The walk is open to everyone, whether they plan to finish the race in record time or take a leisurely stroll. “We want to remind people what it’s all about. Just get out and get around, no matter how slowly,” said Neutra. Each participant gets a free commemorative pin and entry to the awards ceremony. Though prizes still haven’t been finalized, Neutra said they might give a signed copy of Neutra's Survival Through Design to the winner. Proceeds go toward the preservation of the VDL Research House II and other efforts by the institute. Register on the Neutra Institute webpage.
If you love the work of Richard Neutra or his son Dion, check out the round of festivities in LA this weekend that we like to call NEUTRAPALOOZA! They're otherwise known as the Neutra Practice 85th anniversary Celebration Party. Our favorite event is the "Followers of Famous Design Fathers" symposium on Saturday, which will include Eric Lloyd Wright, Emily Ain, and Nathaniel Kahn, among others. And for you lucky Neutra house owners, there's the Reunion of Neutra Owners, Clients, Collaborators, and Builders later in the day. The events end on Sunday with a comprehensive Neutra Interiors tour and a tour of Neutra's famous Lovell Health House in Los Feliz. If you're a Neutra fan you really shouldn't miss this. And if you're not, you'll probably become one if you go. Either way you can't lose.