Above: Located in Montecito, California the Tremaine House designed by Richard Neutra in 1948. Photo: Julius Shulman / Getty Archive
One of my personal favorite houses designed by Richard Neutra is the Tremaine House located in Montecito, California and completed in 1948. Situated on a rather dramatic site, with exposed boulders and large, ancient oak trees, the home settles beautifully into the landscape and perfectly demonstrates Neutra’s genius of mastering a site.
Of the Tremaine House Neutra poignantly wrote, “Like an albatross, the oceanic bird whose legendary powers of ﬂight allow it to descend to land only to breed, the Tremaine House unfolds and spreads its mighty wings – hovering majestically in an ancient oak tree grove above Santa Barbara and the Paciﬁc Ocean. Only a row of precise white beam ends are visible, as though they were the now-petriﬁed joints of the bird ﬂoating above the glass amidst the dense landscape. That single beckoning gesture is the street ‘facade’ though one’s journey toward the house is then deﬁed by the stone walls deﬁning the patio and the guest wing. It is one of many moments of tension and transcendence rendered here in a poised equilibrium, a dialectic on many levels between ﬂoating and anchored. Between solid and opaque. Between machine-made and nature-wrought.”
The Tremaine house is unique in Neutra’s oeuvre with the union between architectural expression and structural necessity. Articulated concrete pillars bear the long frontal girders, which in turn support eight foot cantilevered roof beams below an impossibly thin-looking roof slab all rendered in reinforced concrete. The use of concrete was partly in response to the threat of forest ﬁres and one of the first homes to introduce interior space with raw, unfinished concrete – later to become known in more general practice as Brutalism. The home is still there today and is a masterstroke of architecture.
Click on image for full view. All photos Julius Shulman / Getty Archives unless otherwise stated.5510 false true true false true true false auto false ease-in-out 300 auto false 0 true true
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