The Pearl M. Mackey Apartments (R.M. Schindler, 1939) in the Mid-Wilshire District of Los Angeles are home to the MAK Artists and Architects-in-Residence program MAK Artists and Architects in Residence Program]. The Republic of Austria purchased the building on the initiative of the MAK in 1995 and the program designed for visiting emerging international artists and architects was launched in the same year.
Located on a flat lot in a residential neighborhood, the originally four-unit (since converted to five) apartment building is one of a series of residential projects built by Schindler in the 1930s. Unlike international-style architects, Schindler seldom designed identical apartment units; his apartments are as complex, individual, and innovative as his houses. The Pearl M. Mackey Apartments possess typical Schindler characteristics: compact apartment layout, exceptional incorporation of natural light, built-in furniture, variable ceiling heights, and private outdoor gardens or mini-balconies.
Restoration work on the apartments began in 1995 by the Central Office of Architecture, and continued with Los Angeles architects SPACE International in 2001 and 2004/05. In all phases of renovation, the objective was to recreate the room layout, complex lighting, and the use of materials for surfaces and color schemes in keeping with the architects original intentions. Ultimately, the renovation has created a refreshing building that testifies to Schindlers love of open spaces, airiness, and versatility.
In the last phase of restoration in 2009/10, the desolate garages, which are used as working and exhibition space by the artists and architects-in-residence, could be renovated and the new Garage Top was added to the propertyagain thanks to funding from the Buildings Program of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Labor. Designed by SPACE International, the Garage Top resembles a black box cantilevered above the five newly renovated ground floor garages at the rear of the lot. Clad in Wetsuit, a dark industrial material used for waterproofing, and fronted by a wall of translucent, sliding window panels, the new addition stands distinct from the original Mackey Apartments.
The Garage Top interior provides a single uninterrupted space flooded with natural light. In the interest of simplicity, a soffit masks all infrastructure and service areas are discretely set at the far end of the space. Designed for flexibility, the Garage Top is well suited for a variety of MAK Center programming, including performances, seminars, the newly launched exhibition series Garage Exchange Vienna L.A., and MAK Center Residents activities.
Schindler Lab Online Publication
This publication documents an exhibition-oriented initiative that prompts artists and architects to develop installations highlighting Rudolph M. Schindler's domestic experiment.
Each year the MAK Center greets a myriad of local, national, and international visitors intrigued by this early (1922) example of Los Angeles modernist architecture. They often ask detailed questions. They are curious about Schindler's thought process when designing and constructing the house; how the house has been used, understood, and canonized throughout the decades; and how the house is holding up today.
Inspired by these visitors' questions, the MAK Center, in collaboration with series initiator Sara Daleiden, developed Schindler Lab. Initiated in 2011, the initiative not only presented artistic projects that reframed the experience of the house, it also foregrounded the intricate process of discussion, debate, deliberation, and creative problem solving behind every Schindler House exhibition. That process is embodied in the online publication at SchindlerLab.org. / March 2015
The Mackey Apartments
1137 South Cochran Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90019, USA
MAK-Schindler Scholarship Program at the Mackey Apartments, Los Angeles
MAK Center Artists and Architects-in-Residence Program
The Austrian Federal Chancellery / Arts Division in cooperation with the MAK Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art, Vienna, annually awards a total of eight scholarships for residency at the Mackey Apartments, Los Angeles. These scholarships are open to free-lance artists, advanced students of architecture ("2. Studienabschnitt"), and graduates of architecture immediately after completion of their degree.
The home and studio of the Austrian-American architect Rudolph M. Schindler on Kings Road in West Hollywood serves today as the homebase of the MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Los Angeles. This seminal building was declared an architectural landmark by the World Monument Fund in 2002. Today Schindler counts as one of the most important modern architects.
The Fitzpatrick-Leland House R.M. Schindler, (1936) on the corner of Mulholland Drive in the Hollywood Hills was donated to the MAK Center in 2007. Today the house serves as an active hub for research, contemplation, and conversation about modern architecture, contemporary art, and urban space.