AD Classics: Schwimmer House / John Lautner

© Patricia Parinejad

One of the more inspirational and influential architects of the twentieth century, John Lautner was revered in the world of architecture and design throughout his sixty-year-long career. Architects like Frank Lloyd Wright and Frank Gehry give a substantial amount of credit to Lautner, who influenced their designs and minds as architects. As is obvious in his architecture and especially in the , Lautner valued attention to space, materiality and relationship with the natural environment.

More on John Lautner and the Schwimmer House after the break.

© Patricia Parinejad

Lautner was very aware of the emotional affects created by dramatic changes of materials themselves or of their orientation and organization. The multiple houses of Lautner fused stone, steel, glass and wood to create flowing spaces that all seem to expand into each other or out into the skies and surrounding natural environment.

“An aesthetic, philosophical and social visionary, Lautner made buildings that continue to amaze architects and patrons alike with their formal variety and freedom, their structural originality and their sculptural force.”

© Patricia Parinejad

Natural light floods into the interior spaces of the residence through light wells and large windows which look out over the green surroundings and cityscape. The use of warm woods and stones also bring nature indoors, fusing the spaces and blurring the lines between indoors and out.

© Patricia Parinejad

An overwhelming majority of his structures were built in the Los Angeles Area, where the social interest of art, fashion, design and architecture seem to prevail.  Surprisingly enough, even in a city so in tune with creativity and the arts, the buildings of Lautner had until recently only been celebrated widely in the design world alone; not more than a slight portion of the larger population was as informed or knowledgeable about the architect and his works. The Hammer Museum of UCLA hoped to change this, as they held an exhibition in 2008 featuring photographs of his work, physical models and a biographical video.

Architect: John Lautner
Location: , CA
Project Year: 1982
Photographs: Patricia Parinejad
References: Hammer Museum

Cite: Sveiven, Megan. "AD Classics: Schwimmer House / John Lautner" 17 Nov 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 25 May 2015. <>

    How FLLW is supposed to “give a substantial amount of credit to Lautner, who influenced their designs and minds as architects (along with Gerhy)”, if he is dead since 1959???
    Besides, JL was a student of Wright, and Wright recognized him as his sucessor, but i’ve never read something about Lautner being a INSPIRATION to Wright.
    Correct me if i’m wrong.
    About the project, every building of Lautner is an amazing piece of architecture, he thought every piece to be built in every space.
    It will be nice, if ArchDaily could do a post about Sheats/Goldstein Residence or Arango Residence (Marbrisa) in Acapulco.

  • lvbkts

    Sheats/Goldstein Residence is awesome. I wanna party there with Jackie Treehorn + Snoop Dogg.

  • Alan Hess

    Good to see the Schwimmer house presented, but it’s hard to see the evidence that Lautner was revered in the architecture and design world throughout his lifetime. Mostly he was ignored or criticized. To rewrite history now and imply that he was always honored is to belittle the true courage it took to be John Lautner and produce these great designs — and to ignore the vision of the few writers (like Esther McCoy) who did praise him back when it mattered.

  • Architectoid

    Thank you Alan for setting the record straight, I enjoyed your book “The Architecture of John Lautner”.