john lautner: sheats goldstein residence john lautner: sheats goldstein residence
jul 12, 2011

john lautner: sheats goldstein residence

‘sheats goldstein residence’ by john lautner, beverly hills, california image © artjocks

while in los angeles, designboom had the opportunity to visit john lautner’s iconic ‘sheats goldstein residence’. the showing, held on what would have been the late american architect’s 100th birthday, was part of the months long john lautner turns 100 series taking place in LA and michigan.

the dwelling – seen here in its current state with photographs by new york and LA-based artjocks – is one of lautner’s best known works. originally built between 1961 and 1963, the home is now owned by james goldstein, who worked with lautner for over two decades before his death to restore and renovate the property.

detail of roof over pool image © artjocks

read as an extension of the landscape, the design seeks to seamlessly integrate itself with the lush surroundings, blurring the boundaries between interior and exterior. built into the sandstone ledge of the hillside, the home is both cavernous and exposed, opening to accept unsurpassed views over the city and the encircling natural environment.

view into living room image © artjocks

perhaps the most recognizable element of the home is the coffered roof, which gently projects from the living room

and folds down above the pool. pierced with 750 drinking-glass skylights, the triangular volume mimics the shape of

the terrace and water, its monumental form linking the residence to the city.

living room with built in furniture by john lautner image © artjocks

the bold and raw skeleton, made from poured-in-place concrete consumes the home in its entirety, juxtaposed only by

glazed walls and rosewood floors. the custom built in furniture – also designed by lautner – uniquely responds to the

orientation and function of each room, positioned to take advantage of the adjacent views. the kitchen, windows, lights,

rugs, and operable functions were also conceived by the architect.

(left) detail of furniture (right) corridor images © artjocks

entrance to bedroom images © artjocks

bedroom image © artjocks

a lounge in the bedroom follows the lines of the exterior walls, and points towards the city image © artjocks

garage image © artjocks

the skyspace, designed by light artist james turrell in collaboration with architect, duncan nicholson, is an art installation located on a steep slop below the residence. built using the same materials as the main house, the space features two retractable portals that open to reveal the sky and views of the city.

two portals – one in the wall, one in the ceiling – open to reveal the sky and city skyline image © designboom

the openings, which fold away using carbon fiber composite materials, were made by a local aerospace engineer.

thousands of hidden LED lights flood the space colors  image © designboom

thousands of hidden LED’s flood the room with vibrant colors that contrast the serene hues of sunrise and sunset. 

the retractable elements were made by an aerospace engineer image © designboom

a mattress is embedded into the floor beneath the skylight, providing a place to relax and stargaze.

detail of recessed lights image © designboom

floor plan / level 0 image courtesy of james goldstein

floor plan / level -1 image courtesy of james goldstein

  • the furniture is horrible but the house amazing, remember those old houses of the 30’s 40’s

    michel says:
  • The furniture in the living room is really growing on me. The house in amazing and still feels relevant despite its age.

    JB says:
  • Dude i swear i see this horrible furniture in The Big Lebowski movie! iconic horrible!

    caba says:
  • WOW!

    jak says:
  • It was in The Big Lebowski!

    Bear says:
  • I LOVE the furniture! Absolutely makes it.

    Matty W says:
  • yeah, the furniture is actually really great, without it… this house wouldn’t resonate like it has as an architectural landmark. Maybe what you are trying to say is it isn’t timeless, and it isn’t – but it fits the period, and is a perfect window into that.

    gimmy says:
  • Its tha house in a Snoop Dogg Pharrell production

    SHNGL says:
  • what’s the problem with the furniture? can you imagine how atrocious Barcelona chairs would look in here?

    Anon says:
  • Zaha, eat your heart out

    dbkii says:
  • well said gimmy!

    mark says:
  • I don’t think all the furniture pieces are equally compelling, but overall they still hold water. It feels fresh after 5 decades, one could re-take such designs and use different fabrics or even leather and treat them in a more contemporary fashion, perhaps inject more color, but the overall form and proportion feels right. The house is a great example of indoor/outdoor mentality, neither too exposed not too concealed, absolutely love it

    Dave says:
  • Fantastically idiosyncratic design, and quite livable — unlike, say, some Wright houses. But what’s with this text: “The design seeks to seamlessly integrate itself with the lush surroundings . . . ” How is the triangle integral to botany? The house feels in harmony with its surroundings, partly because it’s low and folded into the vegetation, but seamlessly integrated?

    Tom P says:
  • I have also had the honour of a tour of this house. It’s so sexy! The powder room walls are all mirror, and the surrounding landscape features a James Turrell sky space complete with a leather bed in it. From the bedroom you have a window view into the swimming pool. It is in my opinion, the most hedonistic home ever.

    Joy says:
  • Luxury and glamour!

    Dario says:
  • Holy Concrete!

    Dan says:
  • Holy USS Enterprise!
    Bridge to Transporter, lock on!

    StarshipStruck says:
  • I have been to this house. It is wonderful and refreshing, informal and heroic. Although some details felt awkward or dated, they did not detract at all from its inspired, creative power. It had the bones of a god.

    fluidityjim says:

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