Friday, June 3, 2016

JEWEL BOXES: Floating mid-mod house by John Lautner gifted to LA County Museum of Art

Imagine waking up here ...
Retractable walls open up to the air 
in this John Lautner-designed floating house in the LA hills.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art recently announced that it has been gifted one of the jewels in the crown of LA Modernism, and its first ever full-scale architectural acquisition, John Lautner's gravity-defying Sheats-Goldstein house. Lautner, a protegé of Frank Lloyd Wright, had gained fame and respect for his dramatic space-age designs by the time he was 30.

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The present owner of the house is eccentric property investor, self-described baseball superfan and enthusiastic party host James Goldstein. (Leonardo DiCaprio, also a modernism aficionado, has been a frequent visitor.) He says he loves living in this spare, elegant home. "Minimal is the word, and I've kept that word in my mind on everything I've done. That's one of the Lautner concepts which is very important. ... Everything is concealed. Everything is simple and at the same time beautiful."

Welcome to the luminous living room! More than 700 small drinking glasses were incorporated into the roof's design, to create tiny skylights throughout the house.

The living room furniture is custom designed to replicate the angles that outline the home. 
"Every detail has been worked on," Goldstein says, "including the stitching of the leather."

Above: My dream writing room

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LACMA director Michael Govan told the Times that he considers this house to be a singularly significant Los Angeles property. "For me it ranks as one of the most important houses in all of L.A.," he  says, "and as one of the most 'L.A.' houses, because of its connection to the view, that long view toward the ocean."

Above and below:
Lautner's imaginative integration of indoor and outdoor spaces
finds full expression LA's hospitable environment.

The house, which overlooks the San Fernando Valley, is currently valued at $40 million.
Goldstein purchased it from the Sheats family in 1972 for $185,000,
and has been painstakingly renovating and tweaking the design for 35 years.

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Goldstein will remain in house until his death, although it will occasionally be open 
to visitors for limited tours and museum-related special events.  Eventually, 
LACMA envisions using the house for exhibitions and conferences,
as well as tours that will be open to the public.

Link just below to an NPR piece entitled 
This House Is A Work Of Art, So The Owner Is Donating It To A Museum


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