Richard Neutra, 1962-1965
Rice House Designed by Richard Neutra, 1962-1965
1000 Old Locke Lane, Richmond, Virginia
Ambassador Walter Rice and his wife, Inger, lured Richard Neutra from Los Angeles to an incomparable site overlooking Williams Dam on the James River. The couple wanted Neutra to design and build a home which would not only reflect the International Style but also accomodate family life and entertaining.
The Rice House's horizontal roof, floor planes and wide panels of sliding glass make the house appear to hover on its site. The house's architectural features are reminiscent of Neutra's Kaufman Desert House ( Palm Springs, Ca. 1946). Neutra worked in a limited range of materials: aluminum, stucco, marble and glass. Organic forms and shapes of the natural environment were considered in his design. Boulders protrude from the foot of the house. A gently curved wall supports the car port. Roofs and terraces are cantilevered over
glass walls, creating the illusion of weightlessness.
Some of Neutra's signature design ideas include interconnected interior and exterior spaces, fastidious attention to lighting, and the use of shallow pools of water which all appear in this elegant home. To insure the preservation of the house and its natural setting, Ambassador and Mrs. Rice donated the property to the Science Museum of Virginia Foundation in 1996.