Modern: Whole-House Neutra Restoration

San Francisco

This 1937 pre-Mid-Century Modern home – the Darling House – is iconic, designed by one of the most influential architects of the 20th century, modernist Richard Neutra. It has three bedrooms and one-and-a-half baths over two stories, with 1,964 sq. ft.

The homeowners, intrigued with the residence’s historical significance, even in disrepair, jumped at the chance to own one of four Bay Area Neutras. Because of Beckner Contracting & Management’s attention to detail, preservation background, and appreciation for architectural landmarks, we were asked to repair and refurbish in character. Craig Beckner applied preservation guidelines developed by the National Register of Historic Places and based on his restoration work at Stanford University’s Wallenberg Hall.

We performed architectural research and sourced architecturally accurate building materials. Balancing practicality, authenticity, and modernization. Fine-tuned for a musical family. The result is a space that feels fluid and poetic—a home rather than a relic preserved in amber.

restored original neutra built-in cabinetry at 90 Woodland, SF

We restored Neutra’s signature built-in custom cabinetry throughout. Most homeowners would have replaced it all with soft-close cabinetry. Our clients are a rare breed: dedicated to restoring and protecting a museum-worthy residence for generations to come.

Given the constraints of the structure and original floor plan, we engineered and installed a complete ducting system to provide whole-house heating.

The project also entailed:

  • Upgraded electrical, plumbing, insulation, and weather stripping, door and steel ribbon window restoration, hardwood flooring refinishing.
  • Customized kitchen cabinetry, replacing the old icebox with a specialized under-counter, two-drawer refrigerator.
  • Expanded HVAC system, finding creative routes for heat ducting as there are no crawl spaces and attic.
  • Restored oak stairs, curving handrail, and curving plaster-finished stairwell.
  • Replicated Neutra’s motif when expanding into unfinished living space by using pre-finished red-stained five-ply birch.

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"I am an eyewitness to the ways in which people relate to themselves and to each other, and my work is a way of scooping and ladling that experience."

~ Richard Neutra