was one of last century’s most important contemporary American architects. His work was concerned with the relationship of the human being to space and of space to nature. Lautner’s designs share a sense of drama, powerful geometry and warmth, and a profound respect for the site. His buildings stand as functional sculpture. They are unique entities unlike those of any other architect. Lautner was born in 1911, the older of two children. He was raised in Marquette, Michigan, graduating from high school and college there. The northern woods and the deep blue of Lake Superior remained in his soul throughout his life, and he was to return time and time again to bask in what he considered a heaven on earth.After graduating with a degree in English from the Northern Michigan University (then Northern State Teachers College), Lautner became an apprentice to Frank Lloyd Wright for six years, joining the first group of Taliesin Fellows. In 1937 he supervised the construction of two of Wright’s projects, and two years later established his own practice in Los Angeles. His first solo project was a house for his own family, which architectural critic Henry-Russell Hitchcock called “the best house by an architect under 30 in the United States.” Later Hitchcock remarked that “Lautner’s work could stand comparison with that of his master.” A comparison, incidentally, that Lautner himself would have been reluctant to make, given his lifelong devotion to Mr. Wright. Lautner’s work has been the subject of numerous exhibitions in the United States and abroad. His buildings have been featured in countless publications, in a documentary film on his life and work, in the James Bond and Diehard films, among others, and in commercials for television. In 1970, he was made a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects for Excellence in Design. He also received the Gold Medal from the Los Angeles AIA chapter in 1993 for his lifetime achievement. At the time of his death on October 24, 1994, the 83-year-old Lautner was still working on several large projects.
TALIESIN WEST & LAUTNER
"During my time visiting Taliesin West it was clear to see the influence Frank Lloyd Wright had on John Lautner when he was commissioned in 1947 to build this wonderful estate for Lucien Hubbard. I appreciate the thoughtful use of glass, redwood, steel and concrete. Every attention to detail astounds me. I especially love the iconic orange steel beams that make me think of Taliesin West every time I see them."
Tracy Beckmann, Co-Owner
HOLLYWOOD'S LOVE AFFAIR WITH LAUTNER
Many of you will recognize his homes from famous Hollywood movies. The Elrod House in Palm Springs: where Sean Connery battles Bambi and Thumper in the indoor/outdoor swimming pool in the movie “Diamonds Are Forever.” The Sheats Goldstein House in Los Angeles: Porn Producer Jackie Treehorn’s amazing house where he drugs the Dude’s drink and the Dude passes out in the movie “The Big Lebowski.” The Chemosphere House, A set for a scene in “Charlie’s Angels” was inspired directly by this house known as one of his most celebrated works built in 1960 and now owned by famed publisher Taschen. The Schaffer House in Los Angeles: The home Tom Ford immortalizes on film in his directorial debut of the movie “A Single Man.”
JOHN LAUTNER FOUNDATION
The John Lautner Foundation was founded in 1995 to preserve the Lautner archive; educate the public on the architecture of Lautner; and provide support for preservation, protection and maintenance of all Lautner structures. Be a part of this important movement by joining the foundation so that you too can play an integral role in preserving Lautner’s architectural legacy. Please join visiting www.johnlautner.org