John Lautner apprenticed with Frank Lloyd Wright in his early career. He had no appreciation of the cool severe geometry of his midcentury minimalist peers. He spent his life as an iconoclast. John Lautner was overlooked and miscast by his critics. Many of his best-known design projects such as the Googie Coffee shop on Sunset Boulevard have been criticized as Atomic Age or Hollywood ketch.
John Lautner was born in 1911 in Marquett Michigan. He worked under the direction of Frank Lloyd Wright from 1933 – 1939. John Lautner began his private practice in 1946 in Los Angeles where he boldly experimented with new industrial processes. He would call this his search to answer total basic human needs, physical as well as emotional in shelter.
John Lautner was fascinated with new shapes and structures, but this had nothing to do with the Space Age of the future, Hollywood glamour, or virtuoso engineering, but came as a determination to humanize the spaces of the built world and create endlessly varied organic places. To John Lautner this was a profound and serious agenda. Continue reading “John Lautner, Architect of the Elrod House”
Mid Century Modern architecture and design aesthetics have been re-embraced by baby boomers whose childhoods were shaped by those times, as well as embraced by the next generation.
Growing global appreciation of Modernism’s uncluttered clean lines, bold, forward thinking architecture fits well with today’s concern for environment and sustainable practices.
A host of national and international magazines and websites offer in-depth resources for Mid Century Modern homes, furnishings, accessories, and design resources. We scoped out a few that really speak to the subject:
Two grand openings last week celebrated the new Mr. Turk, Trina Turk’s newest expansion with colorful men’s clothing and apparel at 891 North Palm Canyon, and an innovative new ‘pop-up’ concept at Raymond|Lawrence, 830 North Palm Canyon Drive, created by the dynamic design duo, Larry Abel and Raymond McCallister.
Another new furnishings, design and art gallery, Flow Modern Design, opened its doors recently at 768 North Palm Canyon ago replacing A La Mod which moved to larger digs a few doors up at 844 North Palm Canyon.
California Modernism is alive and well, with numerous major exhibitions throughout Southern California starting in October that celebrate and explore architecture, design, furnishings, art and those who created California’s unique lifestyle.
The Pacific Standard Time initiative is a collaboration of more than 60 cultural institutions across Southern California coming together to tell the story of the birth of the L.A. art scene. An initiative of The Getty Foundation, this comprehensive scope intends to highlight the work of Los Angeles artists during the dynamic period following World War II. Concurrent Pacific Standard Time exhibitions will run from Fall 2011 to Spring 2012 throughout the Los Angeles area and from Santa Barbara to San Diego and Palm Springs.www.getty.edu/news/press/center/pacific_standard_time_2010.html.
Palm Springs is synonymous with Mid Century Modern architecture, an era that emerged in the post-war 1950s through the 1970s. A revival of modernism gained momentum in Southern California and has grown around the world for more than a decade.
It began in Palm Springs in 1992 when investment manager Brent Harris and his wife Beth, an architectural historian, bought Richard Neutra’s Kauffman House with the intention of restoring the historic house to its original design.
However, finding original or replacement sources for paint, cabinetry, fixtures, sheet metal and stone was a challenge, as were finding furnishings later on.
The Harrises hired Marmol Radziner + Associates to restore the house. The team went to such lengths as purchasing a metal crimping machine to reproduce the sheet-metal fascia that lined the roof and even re-opening a long-closed section of a Utah quarry to mine matching stone to replace what had been removed or damaged. Continue reading “Palm Springs is a Mid Century Modern Shopping Paradise”