Architecture: John Lautner

John Lautner was a Southern California native who designed over 200 architectural pieces throughout his career, most of which are in the greater Los Angeles area. Lautner gained an appreciation for architecture in 1933 after reading an autobiography on renowned architect legend, Frank Lloyd Wright. His natural talent for designing brilliant woks led him to take an apprenticeship under Wright from 1933 to 1939. Lautner quickly escalated through the ranks with Wright and was supervising various Wright projects by 1935.

In 1938, Lautner left his then Fellowship with Wright to establish his own architectural firm in Los Angeles. His first project, The Lautner House, was labeled as “the best house in the United States by an architect under 30.” Lautner was overly conscientious to display his personal iconic style that would not be confused as having influence from his mentor. However, similarily to Wright, Lautner challenged himself with designing homes on difficult locations, such as the Garcia House and the Chemosphere.

While many of Lautner’s works still stand, a number of his buildings have been destroyed or significantly altered by the current owners. However, his expertise in the architectural world was recognized, as several of his homes are now declared Los Angeles Cultural Historical Monuments or have been featured in films, such as the Elrod Residence which was in the 1971 James Bond film, Diamonds Are Forever


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