If you love architecture, you will know the feeling of yearning to visit a remarkable building that you have seen in photographs but cannot experience in the flesh.

For many years that has been the case for R.M. Schindler’s  Lovell Beach House in Newport Beach,

But now, you very well may just be able to enjoy such a rare opportunity.

KCRW’s DnA Blog has three pairs of tickets to give away to an Open House Tour – This SUNDAY Oct. 16!

Just comment below with a sentence describing a building that has deeply inspired you.

Writers of the three randomly selected comments will each get a pair of tickets. (Make sure to drop your email in the appropriate box when you comment. We won’t share it.)

The house is an experiment in concrete structure and progressive living built in the mid-1920s for the naturopath Dr. Phillip Lovell and his educator wife, Leah Press Lovell. It remains in the Lovell family and has been off-limits for years, but will be open to the public for one day, this Sunday, October 16, for tours of the house and talks about it.

The event is sponsored by the MAK Center, to coincide with its current show, Sympathetic Seeing: Esther McCoy (more on that below). It is open to the public and you can purchase tickets here.

The Lovell House was brilliantly described by Esther McCoy in her seminal book, Five California Architects.  McCoy, a onetime novelist and left-wing activist who single-handedly put California’s pioneering, and Modernist, architects on the map with her lucid writings, had a particularly acute understanding of Schindler’s process because she had once worked as a draughtsperson in his King’s Road office.

Now she is the subject of a long overdue show, the MAK Center’s Esther McCoy: Sympathetic Seeing, one of the design shows under the umbrella of Pacific Standard Time and to my mind, the perfect kind of show: manageable in scale, situated in context (in the King’s Road Schindler House, where she had once worked) and full of small revelations — from her descriptions of Schindler’s self-cut hair to a play-by-play of her efforts to save the Dodge House to her writings on union struggles and of course her matchless, clear writing about buildings she lauded. Of Schindler, for example, she share such insights as, “He was out of context with the resolve of the Depression, a time in which the machine and machined objects were a moral imperative. Schindler never expressed determination (concrete) without tempering it with fancy (wood).”

Sunday’s event will feature a line-up of speakers (listed below, and including yours truly) who will discuss both Schindler and Esther McCoy. It will also be a day at the beach so bring friends and family, and hope to see you there!

Speakers

  • Thom Andersen, Filmmaker, Professor of Film and Video at CalArts
  • Frances Anderton, Writer, Host of KCRW’s DnA: Design and Architecture, Los Angeles Editor of Dwell magazine
  • John Crosse, Historian of Southern California Architecture
  • Jocelyn Gibbs, Curator of Architecture and Design Collection at Art, Design & Architecture Museum, UCSB
  • Greg Goldin, Architecture Critic
  • Christopher Hawthorne, Los Angeles Times Architecture Critic
  • Craig Hodgetts, Architect
  • Barbara Lamprecht, Architectural Historian
  • Sylvia Lavin, Architectural Historian, Director of MA/PhD Program in Critical Studies at UCLA School of Architecture and Urban Design
  • Mark Mack, Architect, Professor at UCLA School of Architecture and Urban Design
  • Andrea Lenardin Madden, Architect, 1996 MAK Center Architect in Residence
  • Susan Morgan, Writer, Co-curator with MAK Center director Kimberli Meyer of Sympathetic Seeing: Esther McCoy and the Heart of American Modernist Architecture and Design.
  • Judith Sheine, Professor and Chair of Architecture Department at Cal Poly Pomona, Architect, Author of numerous books on R.M. Schindler
  • Paulette Singley, Architectural Historian, Professor at the School of Architecture at Woodbury University
  • Linda Taalman, Architect, Professor at the School of Architecture at Woodbury University
  • Wim de Wit, Head of the Department of Architecture & Contemporary Art at the Getty Research Institute

UPDATE: The following comments were selected (using Random.org) out of the 42 comments that were left by 3pm Friday afternoon! Congrats to winners, we will contact you via email. Also, THANK YOU so much to everyone for sharing your inspirations! We really enjoyed the response! It’s so great

Coment #4 by Alexei Klein
I’m not sure it qualifies as a building so much as a structure, but I’ve always loved the famous torii gate in itsukushima, japan (and the surrounding buildings are neat as well).

Comment #22 by LeAnn Slough
Edinburgh Castle…well any castle really, but I love this one in particular

Comment #38 by Riding Green
The Pavilion for Japanese Art at LACMA, which was designed by architect Bruce Goff, is one of Los Angeles’ hidden treasures. The building unique openness and continual flow as you transcend levels inspires me to feel awake and vibrant. I have often dreamed of mimicking this design into a residential unit that naturally lends itself to the incorporation of passive design features.

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