English —

Neutra – Van der Leeuw House


The combination of a visionary client and sufficient funds to realise an architectonical ideal together with the right architect is rare, but crucial for the development and the acceptation of a new architecture. In the Netherlands the director of Van Nelle, C.H. van der Leeuw, is the most appealing example of a stimulating construction lord.
Without his stimulating involvement in his contracts in the twenties and thirties for amongst others the famous Van Nelle factory and his own home located at the Rotterdam Kralingse Plas, the architects Leen van der Vlugt and with him the group of young architects of the New Building would have missed an important laboratory for their new architecture.

Van der Leeuws role in the Dutch architecture may be well known, but it is not very wellknown that he has alse been active in America. In the thirties he financially supported Richard Neutra with the construction of his own home and office in Los Angeles. Neutra explicitly referred to this house as a laboratory and named it the Van der Leeuw research house. The house was destroyed by fire in the sixties, and was rebuilt, with some modifications. Neutra lived in the house until his death in 1970.

The house is currently in bad condition. Neutra's son Dion is trying to raise funds for restoration. The architect Martin Groenensteijn, who visited the house at the end of last year, brought this to ArchiNed's attention.