Category Archives: Bibliography

British architecture journal connects chemosphere to Star Wars city

In the Architect’s Journal of June 15, 2009, Lautner’s chemosphere (Malin residence) is compared to one of the structures in the Star Wars films’ “cloud city”. The image of Cloud City is taken from Episode 5 of the Star Wars film series. Nine other Star Wars structures are compared to famous architectural icons on earth as well.

Thanks to Angela Zar for this catch.

A blast from the chemosphere past

Trusty researcher John Crosse has unearthed a little column from the deep, dark past. In this column, printed in the Los Angeles Times in 1960, columnist Fred Beck ruminates on possible uses for the chemosphere “concept”, and includes a sketch at the top of the column.

We don’t think he fully grasps the actual reason for the design but he’s right that the design has potential to be used in other difficult situations.

Download the column. It’s squeezed on the right side of the page, amid the ads that have some interest in themselves (look at the prices!).

Scottish magazine interviews Grigor on Lautner

The online magazine interviewed Murray Grigor, director of Infinite Space: The Architecture of John Lautner, recently. Grigor talks about how he got started in films on architects and how his work on the current Hammer exhibit (showing in Glasgow now) led him to do a film on Lautner.

He talks about Lautner’s architecture and how it differs from that of his contemporaries and why his work was ignored for so long. The article is illustrated with several photographs of Lautner buildings.

Read the article online (see link above) or download the pdf.

Guggenheim exhibit on Wright will contain Lautner shelter model

An exhibit on Frank Lloyd Wright, called Frank Lloyd Wright: From Within Outward, will open May 15, 2009 and run until August 23, 2009, at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City.

Among the exhibits will be models of shelters designed and built by Taliesin Fellows, including the simple shelter created by John Lautner. From photographs provided by the Lautner family, exhibit creators have been able to recreate it accurately.

See the Guggenheim exhibit page for more information.

photo of Larkin building copyright The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation

Sheats-Goldstein house to be featured in Southland

Thanks to the countless number of spies employed by the John Lautner Foundation, we have learned that the April 23 episode of the new crime drama Southland will feature the Sheats-Goldstein residence as a murder scene.

The episode will air at ten p.m. EST and PST, nine p.m. CST and MST, Thursday on NBC.

The spy in this case goes by the name John Crosse. Of course nobody knows if that’s his real name.

Update: Swiss magazine focuses on Schwimmer residence

[update 03/26/09: added link to English translation]

[update 02/24/09: magazine is actually Swiss]

[update 02/05/09: article is actually on JL although pix are of Schwimmer]

The Swiss magazine IdealesHeim published an extensive article featuring Lautner’s Schwimmer residence in its March issue. The article itself is on John Lautner generally, based on interviews with Frank Escher, but all of the photographs are of the Schwimmer residence. The magazine is generally not available in the United States, but the photographer, Patricia Parinejad, has obtained a pdf version for us.

The 13-page article is available in portable document format (pdf), on request. Write to lautner (at) johnlautner (dot) org for your copy. Because readers in Switzerland should be able to purchase the magazine, we will attempt to weed out requests from that country.

Download an English translation of the article (no pictures included). Please note that “Seite” means “Page”. Translation by Naomi Schenck and Schenck Workshops, Berlin Germany. Naomi is a set designer, working on projects throughout Europe and inspired by the work of Lautner.

Spanish architect blogs about exhibit

The Hammer exhibit on John Lautner is up and running in Glasgow. Anna Maria Vicens, a Spanish architect and jewelry designer in Barcelona wrote about the exhibit in this blog post.

In case the post moves here it is in its entirety (without pictures):

A propósito de John Lautner ·1911-1994· . John Lautner, un mago del hormigón, un escultor de vacíos. En sus manos, las sólidas y pesadas estructuras de hormigón se convirtieron en elementos livianos, flexibles y sensuales, elementos dotados de gran potencia visual, sólidos marcos que diálogan harmónicamente con su entorno. Sin saberlo, casi todos hemos disfrutado de su arquitectura a través del cine como con la Elrod residence en “Diamonds are forever”, la Reiner/Burchill Residence en “Less Than Zero” o la Sheats/Coldstein Residence en “The Big Lebowski” entre otras muchas. Si queréis más información sobre su obra visitad la john Lautner foundation donde podréis consultar planos, fotos… y todo lo relacionado el arquitecto. Por cierto, hay una única exposición en Europa sobre la obra de este gran arquitecto americano Between Earth and Heaven: The Architecture of John Lautner del día 20 de marzo al 26 de julio de 2009 en The Lighthouse · en Glasgow. Exposición organizada por the Hammer museum en colaboración con la john Lautner foundation. También se proyectará un documental sobre la vida y obra de John Lautner, Infinite Space: The Architecture of John Lautner

About John Lautner ·1911-1994· . John Lautner, a concrete magician, an sculptor of the empty spaces. In his hands, strong and heavy structures became light, flexible and sensual, elements with great visual powerful, solid frameworks that talk in harmony to their environment. Without knowing it, we have enjoyed his architecture trhough films, like “Diamonds are forever”, “Less Than Zero” or “The Big Lebowski” among many others. If you want more information on his work I suggest you to visit the john Lautner foundation where you can find maps, photographs….. and everything about him. From 20 Mar 09 – 26 Jul 09 is Between Earth and Heaven: The Architecture of John Lautner the only European showing about the architect at The Lighthouse · in Glasgow. An exhibition organized by the Hammer museum in collaboration with the john Lautner foundation. It will be a documentary on the life and work of John Lautner, “Infinite Space: The Architecture of John Lautner

posted by Ana Maria Vicens

Pensacola’s forgotten treasure: the round house

John Lautner designed a house for his cousin Ernest Lautner and Ernest’s wife Mildred in 1958. Ernest was a builder by trade and Pensacola wasn’t exactly next door to John Lautner’s office, so John left the construction entirely in the hands of his cousin.

From Lautner Residence, Pensacola

photo by Tycho Saariste

Little has been written about this remarkable house, which is in near-mint condition today. If you ask neighbors where is the “round house” it’s likely they won’t even know. Just to whet the appetite of Lautner fans we offer this little glimpse of the early days of the round house: a blog entry by the University of West Florida Libraries. The photographs in the short article are from an article in the Pensacola News Journal that was printed in November, 1958.

Stephen Lautner, grandson of Ernest, the original client, now cares for the round house. Part of his self-driven mission is to track down everything that has been written on it. He recently offered a tour of the house to a group of about a dozen, including Special Collections Librarian Dean DeBolt of The University of West Florida. DeBolt offhandedly handed Stephen a printed copy of the above article.

A few weeks later a friend of Stephen’s noted that he had seen his house on-line. According to Stephen,

After grilling him I realized the article Mr. DeBolt had given me was a printed copy of an on-line article he published of the Round House back in November 2008. …What’s interesting about his on-line article is it was wirtten 50-years and eighteen days after the original paper article ran. While the original article is not re-produced in Mr. DeBolt’s on-line article, the original photographs (in digital form) are included. You can even see a hint of Nanny’s organ and Gramp’s original Wright-inspired sofa.

Stephen gives credit to architectural historian Bill Scott for the leads he has been following. A longer article on the building of this remarkable house is to follow in the coming weeks.

Infinite Space makes the rounds of festivals

[Updated Feb 19: date for San Luis Obispo screening added]

Infinite Space: The Architecture of John Lautner, by noted documentary filmmaker Murray Grigor, is making the rounds of film festivals around the country and beyond. Specific dates have not been set for screenings yet, but the festivals that have so far chosen the new film are:

Palm Springs International Film Festival
the film screened Jan. 12 and 14, 2009

Glasgow Film Festival, Scotland
Feb. 12 – 22, 2009 – will screen on Feb. 21

San Luis Obispo International Film Festival, San Luis Obispo, CA
March 6 – 15, 2009 – will screen Mar. 8 at 3 p.m.

Festival International Montreal en Arts, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
March 19 – 29

Tiburon Film Festival, CA
March 19 – 27

Sarasota Film Festival, FL
March 27 – April 5

Newport Beach Film Festival, CA
April 23 – 30

A look at Lautner buildings in film

The 2003 documentary Los Angeles Plays Itself, by Thom Andersen, is rarely seen in theaters, apparently because of the lack of rights to various film clips in the film. But you can see the segment where Lautner buildings in film are used and misused, mainly by the bad guys and famously by Mel Gibson (for the record: no way the Garcia residence could be pulled down by a pickup truck). The segment speaks in general about the use of modern architecture in Los Angeles in film.

Thanks to Tom Hall of the Sarasota Film Festival for this link: