In the 1930s the largest concentration of Neutra houses outside Southern California was in the San Francisco Bay Area. Here he was assisted by Otto Winkler. As Neutra’s earliest redwood house, the Darling house acknowledges a kinship with the Bay tradition, as well as with its older Shingle Style neighbors along Woodland Avenue. The Darling House was widely published and was the recipient of many awards. A two story urban house on a small hillside lot, Neutra’s first wood sheathed house is clad in 1x6 horizontal redwood siding, with silver painted steel casement windows. The street elevation is made up of two intersecting rectangular volumes, with an overhanging soffit canopy defining the entrance.
A straightforward series of cubic volumes with narrow profile steel ribbon windows, the massing of this house is in sharp contrast to its more traditional neighbors. However, Neutra’s use of natural wood siding appears to be an attempt to adapt the modern aesthetic to the local context.
One of the first “International Style” houses in San Francisco, yet adapted to the local context through its use of naturally finished redwood siding instead of stucco or metal that Neutra used in his other houses of the same time period.