Neutra House

At the end of 2020, CO began an exciting new chapter in a 1962 home by one of California’s most revered modernists, Richard Neutra. Dubbed the Hendershot House after the man who commissioned it, Robert Hendershot, it was in fact designed with the creative pursuits of Hendershot's wife, the Japanese-American artist Harumi Taganachi, in mind. Hendershot passed away soon after the house was complete, but she would live in this tranquil retreat for decades, leading a quiet life devoted to painting, writing poetry, practicing ballet, and hosting friends from various cultural circles, such as French film director Agnes Varda.

To enter the house is to step inside a collaboration between architect and artist in which creativity, natural light, and proximity to nature have been prioritized. What at first appears to be a linear, single-story home opens to reveal three levels of windows that descend from the tree-tops down to the forest floor, where a natural stream flows beneath a bridge-like deck. Original details still remain, like the trap door Neutra designed so Harumi could climb down from the living room into the art studio below.

While the home embodies Richard Neutra’s vision for modern living, it was Harumi whose life and endeavors animated it, and her spirit of creativity and calm still emanates from its rooms and spaces. We could not have asked for a better reminder each day to live simply, slowly, and with beauty.