A Delicate Endeavor: The Restoration of Modern Masterpieces by Schindler, Lautner, and The Eameses

Ehrlich Architects’ restored Rudolf Schindler house in Inglewood, Calif. Image © Grant Mudford

How do you make a space more livable by current standards, while simultaneously upholding the original architect’s design intentions? It’s a delicate endeavor, but one that was recently accomplished by a couple of architects in Southern California. Originally published by AIArchitect as “Pacific Coast Sun Rises on Modernist House Restorations,” this article investigates the thoughtful restorations of three homes designed by the pioneering modernists Rudolph Schindler, John Lautner, and Charles and Ray Eames.

’ early Modernist pioneers are no longer around to oversee the of homes they designed more than a half-century ago, but their landmark projects are offering a new generation of designers historic case studies in Modernist preservation that grow more and more significant with each passing day. Vintage architectural renderings and drawings, photos, and notes are all ingredients these architects use to summon the spirits of Rudolph Schindler, John Lautner, and Charles and Ray Eames, to name a few, bringing their early works of California Modernism back to life.

Why Do Bad Guys Always Get The Best Houses?

The Sheats Goldstein Residence by John Lautner. Image © Jeff Green

In this interesting article for the Financial Times, Edwin Heathcote dissects two Hollywood homes that are infamous as the homes of slick movie bad guys. The Lovell Health House designed by Richard Neutra appeared in LA Confidential as the home of pornographer and pimp Pierce Patchett; the Sheats Goldstein Residence appeared in The Big Lebowski – again as the home of a pornographer – and was designed by none other than “Hollywood’s favourite architectJohn Lautner. Heathcote probes the two architects’ design influences and ideas, and of course offers an explanation as to why “”bad guys always seem to get the best houses“. You can read the full article here.

A Look at Hollywood’s Love Affair with John Lautner

You have to admit it, Hollywood really seems to have a thing for John Lautner; his designs are continuously cropping up in tv-shows, films, cartoons, music videos and even video games. The occasional despondent college professor aside, his exuberant mansions are usually typecast as the bachelor-pads of various flamboyant psycho-paths, pornographers or drug-smugglers. Curbed have compiled this excellent video of the various Lautner-featuring scenes, so we thought that we’d take a closer look at some of his buildings, which tend to pop up in all manner of unexpected places.

Read more about Hollywood’s love affair with Lautner after the break…

Video: Sheats Goldstein Residence / John Lautner

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Question: What does Snoop Dogg, John Cleese, Lucy Liu and Jeff ‘The Dude’ Lebowski have in common? Simple, they have all, at some point in time, hung out in the living room of the space-age Sheats Goldstein Residence designed by Frank Lloyd Wright-disciple, John Lautner.

Read more about this amazing house and its unique owner after the break…

Video: Googie Architecture, Part 1

Architecture, shared with us by Sunny & Mild Media, is part one of a series that encapsulates the futuristic design found prevalent in the post-war sprawl of Los Angeles during the 1950s. Popular among coffee shops, motels and gas stations, the ultramodern style originated from the Sunset Boulevard coffee shop, designed by , named Googies.  A Googie building was a symbol that a business was with the times, which in turn brought traffic and attention to its doors. Form followed function, and it’s function was advertisement.

For more, read Googie Architecture: Futurism through Modernism.

AD Classics: Schwimmer House / John Lautner

© Patricia Parinejad

One of the more inspirational and influential architects of the twentieth century, 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.

AD Classics: Malin “Chemosphere” Residence / John Lautner

© Julius Schulman

Formerly called “the most modern home built in the world” by the Encyclopedia Britannica, the Malin Residence was the stereotypical scientific vision of the future brought to life when it was built by American architect  in 1960. Built for the client Malin Lautner, a young aircraft engineer, the design of the residence was in fact an engineering challenge due to its location on a forty-five degree slope in an earthquake-prone region. The house, nicknamed the ”Chemosphere” hovers 30 feet over the city of resembling a UFO aircraft.

More on the “Chemosphere” residence after the break.