Fresh Brew | Architecture of Social Concern: A 1941 Prefabricated Community<< All Events
Fresh Brew | Architecture of Social Concern: A 1941 Prefabricated Community
Image of Neutra’s rendering of one unit | Courtesy of The Neutra Institute for Survival Through Design
AIA Member: $15 | General: $20 | Student: $5
Join us for the conclusion of a three-part series exploring the ideas and work of the pioneer Viennese-American architect, Richard J. Neutra, FAIA (1892-1970).
Dr. Raymond Neutra, President of The Neutra Institute for Survival Through Design, talks with Historian Kristin Szylvian, author of The Mutual Housing Experiment and Pastor David Grice, President of the Board of Directors for Avion Village, who will tell the story of the cooperative's birth and how it functions today 80 years later. Gary Strang, FASLA, AIA, Principal, GLS Landscape/Architecture will also provide remarks as we close out the series.
This was Neutra’s melding of “cheap and thin” with nature and reflects the themes of the Neutra practice where single homes were used as case studies for low cost housing, experimentation with building technology, the practicalities and psychology of efficient and flexible small spaces, indoor/outdoor living, attention to near and distant views, landscaping and plot plans for privacy and community building activities.
Dr. Raymond Neutra, President, The Neutra Institute for Survival Through Design
Dr. Raymond Neutra is the youngest son of Richard Neutra, one of the most influential modern architects of the twentieth century. After a public health career in environmental medicine and epidemiology at several universities and the California Department of Public Health, Dr. Neutra has been drawn back to the legacy of his father and brother. He has been active in the preservation of the Neutra VDL Studio and Residences and several other Neutra projects. He is an “ambassador” for the Iconic House Network and has written scholarly articles on his father’s career. In addition to preservation, he endorses the Neutra commitment to socially and ecologically responsible design inspired by evidence.
Gary Strang, FASLA, AIA, Principal, GLS Landscape/Architecture
Based in San Francisco, for the past 28 years, Gary has focused on the design of contemporary urban landscapes. Blurring the lines between disciplines, he seeks to improve the livability of cities through the integration of architecture, infrastructure, and landscape. Recent projects include 2 acres of waterfront outdoor space at the Exploratorium "Museum of Science, Art and Human Perception" at Piers 15 & 17 in San Francisco, The New Stanford Hospital, and the expansion of the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. Gary is a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), a licensed architect, former Center for Architecture and Design Board Member, and currently serves as Co-Chair of the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) Design Review Board and as a Stewardship Advisor to the Neutra Institute for Survival Through Design.
Kristin M. Szylvian, Associate Professor of History and Library and Information Science, St. John's University, Queens, New York City
In 2015 Kristin published The Mutual Housing Experiment: New Deal Communities for the Urban Middle Class (Temple University Press). Her current work is an examination of Operation Breakthrough, a federally sponsored program created by HUD Secretary George Romney to improve design and construction of factory-produced housing. Szylvian's research on Avion Village and her sister communities has brought her to Grand Prairie, Dallas, Austin, Waco, Washington, D.C, Hyde Park, New York, New York City, Los Angeles, and University Park, Maryland.
David Grice, Founding/Senior Pastor, Lighthouse Baptist Church, Grand Prairie, Texas
Pastor Grice graduated from Norris Bible Baptist Seminary in 2002 and started Lighthouse Baptist Church, Grand Prairie, Texas in 2003. He has been married since 1994 to his wife, Angela. Together, they have four adopted sons who are now 19, 18, 13 and 10. His family moved to Avion Village in 2006 and can’t imagine calling anywhere else home. Pastor Grice is currently the President of the Board of Directors for Avion Village, President of the Independent Baptist Fellowship of Texas and the Great Southwest, and Vice President of the Independent Baptist Fellowship International.
Fresh Brew is a series of online morning conversations covering a variety of topics about all things architecture and design. Fresh Brew provides the general public and industry professionals with engaging dialogue and a space for inspiration during these challenging times. Co-presented by the Center for Architecture + Design in collaboration with AIA San Francisco.
Learning Objectives (1 LU)
1. Explore why a housing cooperative was an attractive funding mechanism in the early 1940’s to produce housing for factory workers near Dallas and the political forces that prevented wider application of the cooperative model.
2. Learn the history and initial contribution of the government for laying out the land and construction of the prefabricated units.
3. Learn more about the rationale for the plot plan and its facilities
4. Learn how the cooperative works today seventy years later.