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Los Angeles Area

Reiner House at Silverlake - Los Angeles

Silvertop - John Lautner

As his career developed Lautner increasingly explored the use of concrete and he designed a number of homes for his more affluent clients that featured major structural elements fabricated from reinforced concrete. the Reiner-Burchill Residence, "Silvertop" (1956), was his first major exploration of the sculptural possibilities of monolithic concrete, features a large arching concrete roof over the main house and an eye-catching curved concrete driveway that sweeps up and around the steep block. The project had a long and difficult gestation — while it was still being built, original owner Kenneth Reiner (with whom Lautner collaborated closely) was bankrupted by the fraudulent dealings of his business partners and he was forced to sell the house. Lautner also faced opposition from the Los Angeles building certification authorities, who were dismayed by the radical design of the post-stressed concrete ramp, which cantilivers out from the base of the house without any columns supporting it from beneath, and is only four inches thick. Not surprisingly, the Los Angeles building inspector demanded a static load test to prove that it could take the weight of a car — a standoff that mirrored Lautner and Wright's earlier contretemps with skeptical building authorities who demanded load tests on Wright's famous "lotus pad" columns for the Johnson Wax Building. In the event, Lautner's load calculations proved flawless and in fact the instruments recorded more deflection in the concrete from the change in temperature when the sun went down than they did from the weight of the sandbags loaded onto the ramp to test it.(1)

(1) Frank Escher, quoted in Infinite Space: The Architecture of John Lautner (Googie Films, 2009)

Neutra Colony

Ohara House (1961) designed by Richard Neutra.
Ohara House - Water bassin
Inadomi House, 1960, 2238 Silver Lake Blvd.

A collection of eight houses designed by Richard Neutra and one by him and his son Dion Neutra

Garcia House - 7436 Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles

Built for Russ Garcia, an arranger for jazz great Stan Kenton, the “Rainbow” house is a one-of-a-kind work of architectural art easily identified by the distinctive lines of its arched clear-span roof and its playfully colored stained glass windows.  And yet despite the impressiveness of the structure when viewed from the street, it’s actually a modest-sized home designed with the practicality of everyday living in mind.