Perched on the crest of Laurel Canyon Boulevard and Mulholland Drive in Los Angeles, the Fitzpatrick-Leland House, designed by Rudolph Schindler in 1936, showcases the architect's mastery of composition. Interlocking volumes and windows of varying heights are carefully positioned throughout the 2,400 sq ft tri-level home, resulting in a complex, flowing space that's striking in its simple beauty.
'Schindler thought very carefully about light,' says Kimberli Meyer, director of the MAK Center for Art and Architecture, which now maintains the home. Built-in light fixtures hover right over the windows, integrated with the shade. Recessed lights at the corners of the room also help create a distinct atmosphere.
As part of the MAK Center's first Day of the Dead auction called 'Light My Way, Stranger,' the center asked forty-one Los Angeles architects and artists to design a light piece complementing Schindler's orchestration. Proceeds of the auction will support the center's programming and stewardship of three Schindler buildings.
Installed throughout the home, some creations looked to Schindler for inspiration. ALM Project's 'ID 835' echoes the brilliant shaft of light that emanates from the slits of the King's Road House windows while Francois Perrin played on Schindler's own concept of space architecture, with a simple white neon sign spelling out 'space'.
Perhaps inspired by Schindler's own spirit, others propelled their own lines of investigation. With a bulb, steel wire and shade, Chu+Gooding created piece that radiated an incredible patterning on the ceiling. Shaped organically, BplusU's 3D-printed Sponge Lamp pulsed with changing LED lights. Even the pool is home to a Kori Newkirk leaf-like piece that floats on the water.
'What's interesting for me is to look at the juxtaposition between the thinking that's behind this building from 1936 and the thinking behind the contemporary works we have here,' says Meyer. 'They're all experimenting and so was Schindler.'