Kettal’s VDL Penthouse is a perfect replica of its original predecessor, authentically designed to retain every element that gives this building its unique form yet updated to fulfil contemporary requirements.
Poised atop the iconic VDL Research House, the VDL Penthouse is a glass masterpiece that looks out to the hilly landscape of Los Angeles. Designed by renowned architect Neutra and his son Dion in the 60s, the penthouse was intended as a space for relaxation and connection to nature. Featuring a distinctive architectural form established upon Neutra’s biorealism theory, the penthouse was also built using Neutra’s sophisticated design strategies.
“This house – in its free relation to the ground, the trees, the sea – with constant proximity to the whole vast order of nature, acts as a re-orientator and ‘shock absorber’ and should provide the needed relaxations from the complications arising from daily problems,” Neutra explained.
This outstanding penthouse is now brought to life again by leading outdoor brand, Kettal who partnered with Dion to replicate the building using present-day materials and construction techniques while maintaining the key architectural elements that characterize the penthouse.
Spanning across 12×4 metres of space, the replica of VDL Penthouse features the building’s original layout as well as structural details that embody Neutra’s design approach. Predominant horizontal lines emphasised by the wooden strips along with strategically placed columns, chimney and trellis structure on the roof have been maintained to preserve the characteristics that define the penthouse. However, Kettal also included new, updated details which have been incorporated under Dion’s supervision – for example, an automated smart home system to control the lighting, air conditioning and heating in the penthouse.
Along with the replica of VDL Penthouse, Kettal also developed the VDL Pavilion which is built without glass walls to create a stronger inside out spatial experience.