Architects Gregory Mottola and Karl Backus are scheduled to kick off the fourth season of the Los Altos Neutra House’s 2012-2013 Architecture Speaker Series 6 p.m. Thursday at Hillview Community Center, 97 Hillview Ave., Los Altos.
Mottola and Backus, principals at Bohlin Cywinski Jackson in San Francisco, will discuss their award-winning work for clients such as Apple, Adobe and Pixar Animation Studios. According to Neutra House Director King Lear, their commercial work is recognized for its innovation and excellence from conception to execution.
In their presentation, Mottola and Backus will evaluate residential projects in Los Altos and throughout the Bay Area that demonstrate their commitment to creating elegant, sustainable buildings focused on the particularity of place and user.
The goal of the six-month series, whose theme is “Modernism – Defined and Redefined,” is to offer local audiences the opportunity to learn about trends and traditions in modern architecture and design in an interactive setting.
“Each year, our series focuses on an important theme in the development of modern design,” Lear said. “Many of the audience members are involved in the building arts, but the talks are designed for the general public.”
Backus and Mottola acknowledged the late architect Richard Neutra, designer of the Neutra House, as one of the great pioneers of modern architecture.
“His work enhances the interaction of the human experience within the natural world while exploring innovation and embracing technology,” they said. “His legacy still resonates today. As California architects, we are inspired by his vision and strive to emulate this pursuit in creating meaningful places for people.”
The Architecture + Design Speaker Series runs October through March, usually 6-7 p.m. the second Thursday of the month, at Hillview Community Center.
Upcoming speakers include:
• Nov. 8: Daniel Gregory, author of “Cliff May and the Modern Ranch House” and former editor of Sunset Magazine, will discuss how May popularized the outdoor-oriented designs that took the country by storm after World War II.
• Dec. 13: Raymond Neutra will discuss Richard Neutra’s visit to Holland in 1930, Cornelius van der Leeuw, Theosophy, and the link between Dutch modernism, Wright and California Modern architecture.
• Jan. 10: Andrea Cochran, FASLA, will discuss her approach to placemaking through the integration of landscape, art and architecture to heighten the experience of the environment.
• Feb. 7: Cass Calder Smith will discuss his residential work, notable for its positive and negative outdoor space connections.
• March 14: Leo Marmol, FAIA, of Marmol Radziner in Los Angeles, will discuss the firm’s innovative approach to restoration of homes designed by Neutra, Cliff May and John Lautner.
Co-sponsors for the 2012-2013 Neutra House events and programs include Passerelle Investment Co., Courtyard by Marriott Palo Alto-Los Altos, Elevation Architects, Dwell Magazine, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, First Republic Bank, Umerani Associates, Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture, David Eichler Photography, CA Modern Magazine, Craftsmen Printing and the Los Altos Community Foundation.
General admission to each lecture is $20, or $100 for the six-part series. Student tickets are $10 per lecture. A catered reception with the speaker follows at the Los Altos Neutra House, 181 Hillview Ave. Admission to each reception is $20 per person, or $100 for the series, and is subject to space availability. Tickets may be purchased at the door. Members of the American Institute of Architects may receive Continuing Education units for the lectures.