Neutra revisited

A restoration of a modern gem

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  • Areas like the kitchen have been updated in the spirit of the original design.


    Thomas J. Story

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Finishing touches

During his research, Overway came across a historical photo of the living room and spotted two Neutra-designed chairs that never went into production. "I loved their simple, classic shape," he says. He had the chrome frames replicated in Italy with seats and backs upholstered in fabric from the Saarinen Collection.

But he's most proud of the floor-to-ceiling curtain ― a replica of the original visible in the 1939 Architectural Record article ― that delineates the living and dining areas. "When closed at night, it lends a cozy intimacy to our dinners," he says.

While he wanted the house to express the spirit of Neutra, he also included pieces by other renowned architects of the era, such as Mies van der Rohe, whose 1927 tubular-frame chairs with laced leather backs are in the dining room. Overway designed and built the dining table himself.

A Neutra library

For more information about Richard Neutra and his work, visit the website of the Neutra Institute for Survival Through Design ( The site has a comprehensive list of readily available books on the architect, along with rare and out-of-print editions. Our best bets are Neutra: The Complete Works (Taschen America, 2000; $149), edited by Barbara Lamprecht and Peter Gössel; Richard Neutra and the Search for Modern Architecture (University of California Press, 1994; $35), by Thomas S. Hines; and Richard Neutra: Promise and Fulfillment, 1919-1932 (Southern Illinois University Press, 1986; $40), edited by wife Dione Neutra.




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