John Lautner

John Lautner

Infobox Architect


name=John Edward Lautner
mother=Vida Cathleen Gallangher
father=John Edward Lautner
nationality=American
birth_date=birth date|1911|7|16
birth_place=Marquette, Michigan
death_date=death date and age|1994|10|24|1911|7|16
death_place=Los Angeles, California
practice_name=John Lautner
significant_buildings=Malin Residence,"Chemosphere"
Pearlman Mountain Cabin
Sheats Residence
Arango Residence
significant_projects=
awards=|

John Lautner (16 July, 1911 - 24 October, 1994) was an influential American architect whose work in Southern California combined progressive engineering with humane design and dramatic space-age flair.

Biography

Lautner was born in Marquette, Michigan and attended Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin Fellowship for six years in the 1930s as architectural training, with great artists and architects like E. Fay Jones, Paolo Soleri and Santiago Martinez Delgado, serving as construction manager on Wright's Johnson residence "Wingspread" and on two projects in Los Angeles (including the Sturges House). He stands among the most successful of Taliesin graduates.

The Chemosphere house has become a Los Angeles landmark that conveys both hope and folly. It was used in Brian De Palma's film "Body Double", and also appears in "". In 2000 German publisher Benedikt Taschen purchased and restored the house with architects Frank Escher and Ravi GuneWardena. A Chemosphere copy is used as the set for Current TV.

Although mostly known for residences, Lautner also contributed to the commercial genre of Googie. Googie was named in derogatory reference to Lautner's 1949 design for Googie's Coffee Shop (at the corner of Sunset Strip and Crescent Heights) in a 1952 magazine article by Yale University professor Douglas Haskell. The coffee shop itself was distinctive for its expansive glass walls, arresting form, and exuberant signage oriented to car traffic: an advertisement for itself. Other chains such as Tiny Naylor's, Ship's, Norm's and Clock's quickly imitated the look, which proves its commercial value.

Googie became part of the American postwar Zeitgeist, but was ridiculed by the architectural community of the 1950s as superficial and vulgar. Not until Robert Venturi's 1972 book "Learning from Las Vegas" did the architectural mainstream even come close to validating Lautner's logic. Lautner's reputation suffered as a result. Following some lean years in the 1950s and 1960s, he enjoyed something of a resurgence with his poured-concrete houses in the 1970s, notably the Bob Hope Residence and other houses in Palm Springs.

Among Lautner's other works include the Arango Residence in Acapulco, Mexico with its concrete sky-moat, and the landmark Desert Hot Springs Motel in Palm Springs. His dramatic and photogenic spaces are frequently exploited in films, notably the Palm Springs Elrod Residence used to good effect in the 1971 James Bond film "Diamonds Are Forever". Lautner also designed a home on Malibu's Carbon Beach which was owned by Courtney Cox. The home sold for $33.5 million.

One of the few Lautner buildings regularly open to the general public is the Desert Hot Springs Motel. restored in 2001.

elected works

* Lautner Residence, Los Angeles, California, 1940
* Mauer Residence, Los Angeles, California, 1946
* Desert Hot Springs Motel, Desert Hot Springs, California, 1947 coord|33|56.31|N|116|28.83|W|
* Harpel house, Los Angeles, California, 1956
* Henry's Coffee Shop, Pomona, California, 1957
* Pearlman Mountain Cabin, Idyllwild, California, 1957
* Malin Residence, "Chemosphere", Hollywood, California, 1960
* Wolff Residence, Hollywood, California, 1961
* Garcia House, "Rainbow", 7436 Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles, California, 1962
* Reiner Residence, "Silvertop", Los Angeles, California, 1963
* Arango Residence, Acapulco, Mexico, 1973 coord|16|49.36|N|99|51.41|W|
* Sheats Residence, Los Angeles, California, 1989 (Remodelling)
* Elrod house, Palm Springs, California

External links

* [http://www.johnlautner.org/ Official John Lautner website]
* [http://www.speicher.com/lautnerb.htm "John Lautner, Architect"] by Betsy Speicher
* [http://www.johnlautner.net/ The JOHN LAUTNER resources page]
* [http://www.breakfaster.co.uk/hopehouse.html The Bob Hope House]
* [http://www.lautnermotel.com/ Official Desert Hot Springs Motel website]
* [http://www.architetturaorganica.org ADAO - International Web Portal of Organic Architecture]


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