The only residence that the legendary architect John Lautner ever built for himself has come on the market. It hasn’t changed hands since the 1980s, and now the Los Angeles home is available for $1.59 million.
“It’s a very important house, because of its history and because of the plan,” says the listing agent, Ilana Gafni with Crosby Doe Associates. The building in the Silver Lake neighborhood hangs over the side of a 45-degree downhill lot. The one-of-a-kind spot equals city to ocean views and maximizes living space.
Built in 1940, it was the first building Lautner designed after he had apprenticed with Frank Lloyd Wright.
Lautner’s first home demonstrated his own unique style, and was “very ingenious,” says Gafni.
“He purposefully sloped the ceiling from the living area to the kitchen. It slopes up and allows for natural ventilation.”
The decision to angle the ceiling over the two-level main living space means that the warm air rises and exits above the kitchen.
With three bedrooms and two bathrooms, the 1,244-square-foot layout includes a kitchen and dining area that opens to a patio. Private from the street and open at the back, the small home gives off the vibe of a much larger house.
“It feels very spacious,” Gafni says. “There’s a beautiful flow. This is the beauty of his work.”
When the house was originally built, two of the bedrooms were accessible from a balcony, which has since been enclosed.
Lautner used glass, stucco, and redwood on the project. Original finishes, like built-ins, a fireplace, and wood siding, are intact. The multiple windows look out to the surrounding hills.
The striking design is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, one of eight of Lautner’s designs to earn that distinction.
However, Lautner didn’t live here for long. He moved out around 1950, after his divorce, and the home last sold in 1984 for $175,000, according to property records. Lautner died in 1994, at the age of 83.
While the home will need some updates, the next owner will be a buyer who wants to preserve this modern marvel.
Lautner created over 200 projects in his lifetime. His designs are known for their swooping, organic lines and innovative use of materials such as concrete and wood. Two more of his designs are just down the street from this one: the spectacular Silvertop and Baldwin House.
His modernist designs were beloved by movie directors. The iconic Elrod House in Palm Springs was featured in the James Bond film “Diamonds Are Forever” and the Sheats Goldstein House, designed in 1961, is featured in “The Big Lebowski.”
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