Cover image for The architecture of John Lautner
The architecture of John Lautner
Hess, Alan.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Rizzoli, [1999]

Physical Description:
276 pages : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Reading Level:
1220 Lexile.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
NA737.L37 H47 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

On Order



"John Lautner's sixty years in architecture comprise one of the great unexamined careers of the twentieth century. Rooted in a personal design philosophy that is the imaginative extension of the organic architectural theories of Frank Lloyd Wright (he was one of Wright's first apprentices), his exuberant designs and broad spectrum of approaches epitomize the landscape of southern California - from the fifties techno-optimism of the drive-in, freeway, and Cadillac tail fin to the structural innovation of opulent hilltop houses overlooking the ocean. Despite the extraordinary technical achievements of his concrete roofs, steel cantilevers, and double curves, dynamic engineering is never the main point of his work. The push-button glass walls and retracting roofs, however innovative, always serve to create humane spaces that allow occupants to commune with nature and themselves."--BOOK JACKET.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

There are few houses that might profitably be described as "a shelled sea leviathan basking in the sun" as well as "a frozen wave" plus "Aladdin's cave, a freeway to paradise, a hovering space ship, and a car dealer's showroom on the first night of the new models." These are only a few of the stops architect Bess pulls out to evoke the formal splendor of one John Lautner house. Constructed in Los Angeles during the 1950s and '60s, Lautner's houses vary so much among themselves that they are hard to classify other than by their spatial extravagance and the sense of materiality being pushed beyond any known limits. They remind us that this city was home to the aerospace industry--as well as the movies and automotive populism--with its culture of technological innovation that challenged Lautner towards thin-shell floating roofs and transparent and, occasionally, moving walls opening onto vistas of nature and the sea. Lautner was a major US architect without, so far, the recognition he deserves. This book, with its 300 color photographs (but, alas, no plans), will go far toward rectifying the oversight. General readers; upper-division undergraduates through professionals. E. Weiss; Tulane University

Table of Contents

Prefacep. 6
Acknowledgementsp. 7
Introduction: The Architecture of John Lautnerp. 8
Early Years 1939-1959p. 20
Lautner house, Silver Lake 1940p. 38
Bell house, Los Angeles 1941p. 42
Desert Hot Springs Motel, Desert Hot Springs 1947p. 46
Carling house, Los Angeles 1947p. 50
Gantvoort house, Flintridge 1949p. 58
Schaffer house, Glendale 1949p. 62
Payne addition, San Dimas 1953p. 66
Tyler house, Studio City 1953p. 70
Pearlman cabin, Idyllwild 1957p. 76
Zahn house, Hollywood 1957p. 80
Middle Years 1960-1970p. 84
Malin house (Chemosphere), Los Angeles 1961p. 100
Tolstoy house, Alta Loma 1961-1974p. 104
Wolff house, Los Angeles 1961 (addition 1963)p. 108
Garcia house, Los Angeles 1962p. 112
Reiner house (Silvertop), Silver Lake 1956-1974p. 116
Harpel house #2, Anchorage 1966p. 122
Elrod house, Palm Springs 1968p. 126
Stevens house, Malibu 1968p. 134
Walstrom house, Los Angeles 1969p. 138
Later Years 1971-1994p. 142
Arango house, Acapulco 1973p. 158
Jordan house, Laguna Beach 1973p. 170
Segel house, Malibu 1979p. 174
Rawlins house, Balboa Island 1980p. 182
Turner house, Aspen 1982p. 186
Beyer house, Malibu 1975-1983p. 190
Goldstein office, Los Angeles 1989p. 202
Sheats/Goldstein house, Beverly Hills 1963, 1980-1994p. 208
Pacific Coast house, 1979-1990p. 218
End Notesp. 236
Bibliographyp. 238
Indexp. 239