Benedict and Nancy Freedman House

Julius Shulman photography archive, 1936-1997.

Benedict and Nancy Freedman House


In this small writers’ sanctuary, the gradations between interior and exterior are rich and effortless in a house that organically responds to multivalent demands. The clients were a successful, up-and-coming screenwriting couple who wrote movies including Mrs. Mike; in addition to needing serious work space they were soon to have a child. The house on a corner lot is sited well away from both streets to provide privacy.

In plan, a large protected patio separates the only bedroom on the west from the rest of the house on the east, pulling the house apart. Here, each side of the house has glass siding walls to completely open the house on the north and south. Meanwhile, both the pool and the quarry tile paving (running from a garden patio in the front, through the protected patio and out to the pool) are perpendicular in orientation, so that space flows easily in both directions. A generous built-in chaise lounge next to the bedroom allows someone writing or lounging to look up and watch their baby. Clerestories run above several book shelves and originally there was a small built-in organ. The ceilings are high, with a plate line rising from 8′-10″ to 11′-5″, increasing the sense of spaciousness and lightness. The master bath can be entered from the bedroom or the pool. “We splash a lot,” Nancy wrote Neutra. “Can’t the splash behind the tub be higher?” At the back of the pool, Neutra wove horizontal and vertical strips of redwood to create a series of pergola trusses visually joining the pool to the rest of the board-and-batt house; the trusses, soon to be overgrown with vines, also served to hide the next-door Mediterranean-style houses.

Project Detail

Year Built


Project Architect

Richard Neutra


Benedict and Nancy Freedman


315 Via De La Paz
Los Angeles, CA