The Kaufmann Desert Home, A Modernist Masterpiece, Is For Sale For $25 Million

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At its finest, modernism produced poetically lovely buildings whose spare simplicity belied their refined design. A stellar instance is Richard Neutra’s Kaufmann Desert Home. 

Situated in modernism’s religious epicenter, Palm Seaside, California, it’s thought of to be among the many most necessary and iconic homes of the twentieth century. Now it’s on the market for $25 million.

Neutra, who was born in Austria, designed it in 1945 for Pennsylvania division retailer entrepreneur Edgar J. Kaufmann Sr. as a winter trip getaway from his Pittsburgh residence. Accomplished in 1946, the three,162 sq. foot home is a symphony of metal, glass, sandstone and stucco, with terrazzo flooring. Its cruciform design organizes round a central swimming pool made well-known by a sequence of pictures by Julius Shulman in 1947 and once more by Slim Aarons in 1970.

“After Mr. Kaufmann died in 1955, the home handed via a number of homeowners, together with musician Barry Manilow and an proprietor of the San Diego Chargers,” says itemizing agent Gerard Bisignano of Vista Sotheby’s Worldwide Realty. “They added to the home, pushing out partitions, enclosing the patio and including roof air-conditioning. Surfaces of the home had been repainted or lined up.”

In 1993, Brent and Beth Harris bought the home. He, a monetary govt and she or he, an architectural historian, had the imaginative and prescient, the means, and the willpower to revive the home to its unique pristine situation. They launched a five-year restoration headed up by the Los Angeles design-build agency Marmol Radziner. Recognized for his or her modern structure and the restoration of historic fashionable buildings, they used Julius Shulman’s 1947 pictures to information them. Within the course of, they persuaded a Utah mine to reopen an deserted part used within the Forties with the intention to quarry sandstone within the unique “sundown” pinkish buff hue to match sections that had been broken or had been eliminated. Crimped aluminum trim was produced in Kansas on a machine that had been out of use for almost 50 years. Window frames, door handles, and Fresnel lenses for ceiling lights had been meticulously reproduced, some by the unique producers. Inside partitions had been reconstructed within the outdated manner, utilizing an inch-and-a-half of plaster, and the particular flooring of concrete combined with silica sand, as chosen and specified by Richard Neutra and Edgar Kaufmann, had been discreetly patched. 

As we speak the five-bedroom, six-bath home appears to be like once more as its designer and proprietor envisioned it, set on 2.18 acres in opposition to the dramatic backdrop of Mount San Jacinto.

Lauded for its distinctive and trendsetting fashionable restoration, the Kaufmann Home has garnered recognition from the American Institute of Architects California and has been the topic of over 275 articles, in addition to quite a few prizes and awards.

Bisignano factors out that Edgar J. Kaufmann Sr. commissioned one other iconic 20th century American home, Fallingwater, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and accomplished in 1937. Thus, one individual was liable for two of the best examples of recent design, constructed simply ten years aside. Whether or not he supposed to or not, Mr. Kaufmann left an incomparable architectural legacy.

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