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Happy 100th Birthday John Lautner

Stephen Schmidt | July 30, 2011 | Architecture, Exhibitions

The weekend of July 23/24 offered modernist fans some special events in Los Angeles to commemorate the 100th birthday of architect John Lautner (1911–1994). Sponsored by the MAK Center, and The John Lautner Foundation, the weekend highlight was a tour of the following four houses designed by Lautner between 1947 and 1982:

Sheats/Goldstein House

Sheats/Goldstein House (1963/1989)
This house is a Lautner masterwork, with dramatic spaces throughout. In particular, the living room and pool area are stunning—featuring a huge concrete triangle shaped roof that frames the spectacular view. The multi leveled house is situated on a steep hillside covered with lush landscaping.

Sheats/Goldstein House

Sheats/Goldstein House

Sheats/Goldstein House

Sheats/Goldstein House

Sheats/Goldstein House

Sheats/Goldstein House - built in furniture

Sheats/Goldstein House

Scale model of Sheats/Goldstein House

Schwimmer House (1982)
Designed later in Lautner’s career, the visual motif is curves upon curves, and dramatic use of stone and wood. The effect is like a modernist castle. The main living space is not as awe inspiring as those of other large scale Lautner residential designs, but the house has a unique character and an overall dynamic aesthetic.

Schwimmer House

Schwimmer House

Schwimmer House

Schwimmer House

Schwimmer House

Schwimmer House

Schwimmer House

Harpel House (1956)
Positioned on a hill near Mulholland Drive, this single story sprawling house is more modest in its design than the Sheats/Goldstein or Schwimmer houses. Because of this, the spaces are easier to comprehend and enjoy immediately. The exterior areas are quite important to this residence. Beautiful desert style gardens in the entryway complement the minimal architecture, while the focal point of the back yard is the gorgeous pool setting with views of the San Fernando Valley and beyond.

Harpel House

Harpel House

Harpel House

Harpel House

Harpel House

Harpel House

Jacobsen House (1947)
Designed early in Lautner’s career, the geometry of the house is clearly influenced by Lautner’s training with Frank Lloyd Wright. The steel framing structure was, and still is, unique to residential building. This was the last house on the Saturday tour and the smallest in scale. The house, including a recent renovation performed with sensitivity, is a real delight. No space is wasted, and as with all Lautner houses, the interior and exterior designs are beautifully cohesive.

Jacobsen House

Jacobsen House

Jacobsen House

Jacobsen House

Jacobsen House

Below are photos of the MAK Center/R.M. Schindler House, and three really cool modern LA residences I discovered while driving around town.

For more info on the MAK Center and John Lautner, please visit:
www.makcenter.org
www.johnlautner.org/wp/

R.M. Schindler House (1922) - MAK Center

R.M. Schindler House (1922) - MAK Center

Habitat 825, West Hollywood, 2007

Remodeled 1960s house, Hollywood Hills

Franklin Avenue Condominiums, Hollywood, 2009


    2 Responses to Happy 100th Birthday John Lautner

    1. Nate says:

      Beautiful architectural photos as usual Stephen! As a swimmer those pools really speak to me. What a dream to do laps surrounded by such beautiful architecture, ahhh.

      • Thanks Nate! Yeah, those are dream pools — all with spectacular views to enjoy after taking a dip. The photos in this article were mostly taken with an iPhone. I’ve got to upgrade to a DSLR eventually.

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