Master architect R. M. Schindler was well known for creating complex yet functional residential designs on a reasonable budget, so his design for the Rodriguez House stands out as an example of how they could be realized on a much larger budget.
Constructed for writer/composer Jose Rodriguez in 1942, the house sits on a gently sloping lot in Glendale and is set well back from the street. It is L-shaped in plan and is angled away from the street to optimize its orientation to the sun. The angled “L” also serves to enclose a large private garden accessible from multiple rooms and visible from almost all of them.
A smaller front garden is linked to the rear garden via a passageway that passes beneath a bedroom in the upper wing, which features a sleeping porch that further blurs the line between indoors and outdoors.
The house illustrates Schindler’s shift toward exposing structural members, with its wooden rafters and beams sitting solidly atop stucco and stone-veneer walls and framing large expanses of glass. Its scale is fairly modest and its volumes are light, with ample glass to help the building blend into its verdant surroundings.
It is in the interior that Rodriguez’s large budget is most apparent, with lavish finishes as well as Schindler’s trademark built-in furniture. The Rodriguez House is almost totally intact, serving as a vibrant and beautiful example of the architect’s innovative residential designs.