John Lautner, Architect of the Elrod House

Modern Architect John Lautner's Elrod House in Palm Springs, CA
John Lautner’s Elrod House in Palm Springs, CA
Architect John Lautner in Palm Springs, CA
Architect John Lautner in Palm Springs, CA

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”

Magazines, Websites Sources for Mid Century Modern Design

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:

Modernism Magazine, a quarterly magazine about 20th century modernist design, ranges from the Wiener Werkstatte and the Bauhaus thinkers to Memphis and beyond covering Art Deco, mid-century pop and postmodern design. Continue reading “Magazines, Websites Sources for Mid Century Modern Design”

Celebrating the Masters: Architecture and Design Center, Edwards Harris Pavilion

Rendering of exterior entry of Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center, Edwards Harris Pavilion. Rendering courtesy of Marmol Radziner Architects, FAIA.

Ever since the Palm Springs Art Museum acquired the former Santa Fe Federal Savings and Loan building on Palm Canyon Drive last June, and announced plans to transform the bank into an architecture and design museum, a ground swell of support has been growing.  The concept has also garnered considerable national and media attention. Continue reading “Celebrating the Masters: Architecture and Design Center, Edwards Harris Pavilion”

New Design and Retail Shops Open, Expand In Palm Springs Uptown Design District

Bright contemporary men’s clothing now at Mr. Turk

Uptown just got more “up!”

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.

Calling their store a “retail incubator,” Raymond|Lawrence features ho Continue reading “New Design and Retail Shops Open, Expand In Palm Springs Uptown Design District”

Major Mid Century Modern Exhibits in Southern California Start this Fall

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

The first major study of California’s influence on Mid Century Modern design, California Design, 1930-1965: , debuts October 1 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art with more than 300 objects – furniture, ceramics, metal work, fashions and textiles, and industrial and graphic design. Continue reading “Major Mid Century Modern Exhibits in Southern California Start this Fall”

Palm Springs is a Mid Century Modern Shopping Paradise

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”