Jul 13 —
Inverting Neutra is an installation at Richard and Dion Neutra’s VDL Studio and Residences in Los Angeles that offers spatial inversion as a strategy for activating historic architecture. Designed originally by Richard Neutra in 1932 and then rebuilt after a fire in 1965-66, the VDL House is known for its close interlocking of interior and exterior space. Void spaces penetrate the house from the street up to the roof terrace, and in response, Inverting Neutra manifests these voids as luminous blue volumes. With rows of satin blue cords hanging from lightweight aluminum frames, the installation creates the optical effect of the volumes appearing and receding depending on the viewing position. By activating the negative spaces as colorful, dominant forms, the project inverts the positive-negative spatial relationships of the existing building.
This project continues Bryony Roberts’ ongoing work on the creative interlocking of new and exisiting architecture. Originally trained as an artist, with a B.A. from Yale University in Studio Art and Humanities, Roberts later turned to architecture, earning her MArch from Princeton University and working for the offices of WORKac in New York and Mansilla + Tunon in Madrid. Her practice, Bryony Roberts Studio, which is based in Los Angeles, engages projects from the scale of residential architecture to urban design, and her design work has been exhibited in Los Angeles, Houston, Berlin, and Rome. For the last two years, she was teaching as a Wortham Fellow at the Rice School of Architecture, and she is currently the Artist-in-Residence at the Neutra VDL Studio and Residences. The project is generously supported by an Individual Grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, John and Jean Geresi, the Cal Poly Pomona Foundation, and by the Neutra VDL Research House under the directorship of Sarah Lorenzen.