The Wolff House by R.M. Schindler built in Sherman Oaks was commissioned before WWII by Harry J. Wolff. It’s an example of Schindlerâ€™s experimentation withÂ â€śplaster skin housesâ€ť during the middle stage of his career and is a rectangular shape one story above the ground with a wooden frame and a plaster coating.Â The roof has many elevations and overhangs each with its own set of clerestory windows, (many now open-able!). The interior of the house is predominately plaster, doug-fir plywood panels (with no footballs!), glass and an open wall scheme that keeps the house light and ventilated.
Using Schindlerâ€™s notes, blueprints and historical photographs, Michaelâ€™s restoration included removing a basement playroom to reveal the breezeway that had been hiding for many years, re-stuccoing the exterior of the house with a golden color exacting to Schindlerâ€™s specifications, reinstating the interior pink plaster and many plywood built-ins, updating the kitchen with new appliances and custom-made period appropriate cabinetry, landscaping the property with natives, and adding solar panels. The residence was originally on three lots that included a badminton court and koi pond. Unable to purchase the other two lots which now had homes on them, Michael drew from the past features in the garden and designed a geometric shaped koi pond connected to the reinstated breezeway.Â Michael registered the Wolff House under the Mills Act as a Historic-Cultural Monument.Â Â Anecdotally, when MWL approached Julius Shulman for any historical photographs Shulman replied “No such house exists”.
Address: Sherman Oaks
Architect: R. M. Schindler
3 Bedrooms, 1.75 Baths
Square Footage 1,668
Lot Size: 5,298.1 Sq Ft
Historic-Cultural Monument: # 828
Restoration Duration: April 2003-February 2004
Hosted LA Conservancy Events:
LA Conservancy Link
San Fernando Valley Icon: Link
Nicolai Ouroussoff, “L.A. Modern”
Jessica Ritz.â€śThe LAist Interview.â€ť Kimberli Meyer, MAK Center for Art and Architecture. The Laist September 26, 2005. Link
â€śRudolf Michael Schindler (1887-1953)â€ť Triangle Modernist Archive 2007-2012. Web. 02, April 2012. Link