In our backyard: Richard Neutra’s Rice House

31Jul13

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Modernist architecture with it’s simple lines can be a glorious thing to enjoy. Can you imagine getting to live in one the houses of that era? In May, I had the opportunity to tour the Rice house. The only International style house in Richmond, Va, the house was designed by Richard Neutra for the Ambassador Walter Rice and his wife Inger. I had no idea this house was in the city until I was invited for the tour. It is located on an Island at the edge of the James River, west of downtown Richmond. It is an amazing site. The building is built into the rocks reminiscent of Falling Water, except the view is of the raging river instead of a forest. The house is under the stewardship of the Science Museum of Virginia; it was gifted by the family in 1996. The family was to lived there as long as they wanted. Mrs Rice just recently moved to a retirement home.  The Museum has only been the caretaker for a few years and is just starting to build a vision of what this place could be. It has such great potential. It has already undergone some repair and been used as a lab for university students. I hope it becomes a testament to great architecture for the public to see like other great house museums.



4 Responses to “In our backyard: Richard Neutra’s Rice House”

  1. Thanks for posting this, Richard Neutra is one of my favorite architects. I recently stumbled upon two of his works in Bakersfield, CA that have been very well preserved. I was privileged to present some of my work to a small group in the home…it was very cool.

    • Glad you liked the post. It was a treat to go see the house and the gorgeous site. I hope it will be open to the public more readily once the museum has completed its work to make it more accessible. It’s definitely unique in Richmond’s architecture scene.

  2. Thanks for posting this, Richard Neutra is one of my favorite architects. I recently stumbled upon two of his works in Bakersfield, CA that have been very well preserved. I was privileged to present some of my work to a small group in the home…it was very cool.

    • Glad you liked the post. It was a treat to go see the house and the gorgeous site. I hope it will be open to the public more readily once the museum has completed its work to make it more accessible. It’s definitely unique in Richmond’s architecture scene.


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