LA’s MAK Center for Art and Architecture today announced that it has been given the Fitzpatrick-Leland House, one of Rudolph Schindler’s great residential works. The center plans to use the home as a base for visiting researchers.
Located at the edge of a sharp ridge in Laurel Canyon, the L-shaped, tri-level home includes a staggered envelope, large horizontal openings, overhanging roof planes, and a subtle composition of interlocking volumes that provides abundant spaciousness and light. It was built on spec for developer Clifton Fitzpatrick in 1936.
Unlike the MAK Center’s other Schindler properties, the Schindler House (1921-22) and the Mackey Apartments (1936), the Fitzpatrick-Leland House acquisition was facilitated by a single donor, local real estate developer Russ Leland, who, since purchasing the home in 1990, has worked with architect and contractor Jeff Fink to restore it from a state of disrepair. Previous owners had covered over the house’s large windows with sheetrock, walled in the second-floor balcony, and plastered over a fireplace, while the building’s foundations needed re-shoring. Originally named the Fitzpatrick house, its name has been changed to honor Leland.
The house is now home to the MAK Center’s new Urban Future Initiative (UFI), which provides two-month residencies to cultural researchers from around the world. Funded by a grant from the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the initiative allows seven researchers or pairs of fellows—chosen by a seven-member jury—to investigate urban phenomena, including sustainability, immigration, and social justice. The program began in April and is scheduled to run through September 2009. The first UFI fellow, Indonesian architect Marco Kusumawijaya, has been studying the relationship between the last 100 years of urban history in Los Angeles and the amount of material and energy used in the production and operation of its built spaces.
For more information go to www.MAKcenter.org.