V. Proposals

Olivier Touraine / Studio Touraine

Breaking the Privacy of Schindler House

Besides being an indisputable icon of Modernist architecture and of Los Angeles history, the Schindler House is an incredible social experience, a laboratory of human privacy. I discovered the building through reading the architectural plans as I was graduating school in Europe. The house contains the European compactness of Loos’s work with a Japanese tendency for privacy and intricate relationships with nature.

Hush Hush

I am seduced by the privacy of the house and the “hush hush” stories surrounding two couples sharing a house. After the Chace family had left and the Schindlers were separated, Rudolph and Pauline Schindler each claimed a side of the house. This history drives the concept of this installation. I am amazed by the privacy within a compact space of the house. The aperture in each room has views to the garden, but not to the other rooms in the house. Activities in one room can be unknown to an inhabitant in another room. The Schindler House is the epitomy of absolute privacy. The house is an example of architecture’s evolution from sheltering people from the elements to sheltering people from each other.


Today, society has many vibrant examples of permanent breaches to our privacy. Smile when you walk in London or many other major cities as you are frequently under the watch of a camera.


Watch when you are online since each move you make within Google, Facebook, or other social media platforms are monitored. Privacy has become a rare and precious state that seems to be melting as fast as ice is with global warming. One of our last refuges is our “home” and the Schindler House may be the best example of this option for contemporary life.


In a ludic or cynical way, we propose to break this model of privacy for even a small amount of time, without touching or breaking anything in the physical space of the house. The Schindler House will become a virtual panopticon.


This installation consists of a basic security video camera. The information from the camera will be projected via video on a wall in an opposite room to the one where activity is being recorded.


This technological support allows a viewer in one room to experience the activity in another, despite Schindler’s precision with privacy. The video recording will be available in real time online as well so a visitor can witness how she or he is being monitored.

Olivier Touraine is a Los Angeles-based architect.

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