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Onelife 27

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Shenzhen by Range Rover Sport PHEV | A first drive in the new Range Rover Evoque | Mid-century modernist architecture in Germany | George Bamford on what makes true luxury | Meet moon-walker Charlie Duke | Carnival subculture in Brazil

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DESIGN Left: a series of waterfilled reflection pools highlight the Kemper House’s relationship with its woodland habitat American ‘West Coast’ style of living. In 1963 they contacted the Neutras, who set about finding a suitable plot in the area. Once the 431,500ft 2 site was selected, construction began in 1965 and lasted until August 1968. The completed 4,090ft 2 house boasted six bedrooms, fully glazed walls and several large fireplaces as well as unique features such as an au pair room and a ‘gentlemen’s room,’ which now serves as an office for current owner Manfred Hering. Having bought the house in 2016, Hering is currently in the process of painstakingly restoring it back to its original specification. “When I bought the place, it looked a bit like a boutique hotel,” says the 50-year-old classic car restoration expert and midcentury-modern über-fan. “Everything was gray and beige. The previous owners had painted over a lot of the wood. We’ve looked at every material, bought books, spoken to the previous owners, all with a view to getting the entire house period correct – so original that it doesn’t even look restored.” The Kemper House looks brilliantly inserted into its woody hilltop location. The living area – a glassy adjunct to the central two-story structure – is framed by the original floor-to-ceiling windows, which invite light into this surprisingly ‘liveable’ main room, while its ceiling treatment carries out consistently from the inside to the outside of the house, through the glass line. Water-filled reflection pools on the flat roofs and behind the terrace mirror the surrounding trees and woodland. It all highlights the house’s relationship with its environment, its ‘contact with nature.’ Inside, original furniture and fittings – an Arne Jacobsen Egg chair, Knoll sofa and Panton shell lamps – bring the living experience back to the mid-1970s, Hering’s favored era for both interior design and air-cooled German sports cars. The Kemper House is a real home, rather than a sparse monument to modernism. It’s what Neutra intended the space to be. He believed in building houses for the human being, not the architecture critic. It’s inviting, comfortable, and it’s hard not to feel at home here. Parked outside on the terrace, the Range Rover Velar looks right at home, too. Decades may separate their respective designs, but both the Kemper House and the Velar share a reductionist design philosophy, an elegant simplicity. Like the house, there’s nothing extraneous about the Velar vehicle’s design. Nothing that doesn’t need to be there. Taking a seat in the clean, uncluttered cockpit of this ‘avant-garde’ Range Rover feels like a visit to the future. The Kempers must have felt the same when they ventured inside their new house in the summer of 1968. The space, the light, the general understatement of the architecture. It was all new back then. And it will be again. “There’s a bit more work to do, but even now, you can feel the house has its original sense. It has its soul back,” says Hering. “This is my forever house,” he laughs. “I will definitely die here.” And looking around this glamorous, slightly incongruous slice of sunny Southern California nestling in the green hills of western Germany, you can understand why. 39

 

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Onelife 27

 

Land Rover’s Onelife magazine showcases stories from around the world that celebrate inner strength and the drive to go above and beyond.

Land Rover vehicles go above and beyond, to help you make the most of your world. The latest issue of Onelife delivers this philosophy to your living room with evocative narrative and stunning photography. Experience a rich variety of perspectives from around the globe: from eco-innovators in China to road-testing in Greece and modernist architecture in Germany

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