Category Archives: Plans and Photographs

Lautner A-Z is coming!

Are you interested in purchasing the English edition of Lautner A-Z, the new book by Tycho Saariste and Jan-Richard Kikkert? It isn’t available yet but when it is you can buy it from the Foundation. To make sure you are notified when we receive the copies, please complete this simple form.

About the book:

Lautner A-Z

An Exploration of the Complete Built Work

by Jan-Richard Kikkert & Tycho Saaristewith an introduction by Alan Hess

English version to be released Spring 2019

paperback, size: 6.7 x 9.4 inch (17 x 24 cm)386 pages with aprox. 500 b&w and colour images

Publisher: ArtEZ Press

From the front flap:

The American architect John Lautner (1911-1994) was well ahead of his time. His original, unconventional and very versatile oeuvre was never repetitive. His concern for the dreams and desires of his clients, his sensitivity to the location of his buildings and his interest in the latest technical developments in were constants in his work.

Lautner blurred the boundaries between indoor and outdoor spaces, between nature and architecture.Lautner’s oeuvre spans more than half a century, from his first independent commission in 1939 until his death in 1994. In this time period he carried out 144 of his designs, 103 of which are still standing. Most of them are located in and around Los Angeles.

Lautner’s work developed greatly throughout the years: he started off close to his mentor Frank Lloyd Wright and ended with an uninhibited, unique and personal architectural style.

This book provides an unprecedented treasury of information about all of Lautner’s built works. It is an odyssey, the story of two architects on a mission: Jan-Richard Kikkert and Tycho Saariste located, visited and described all the surviving buildings. This began with finding the correct addresses through Google Earth and ended with studying dusty rolls of drawings in owners’ attics. Each house visit is described separately, with a focus on striking architectonic elements, the locations and the clients.

Kikkert and Saariste also conducted extensive (archival) research on buildings that no longer exist and designs that were never built. The book is richly illustrated, often with photographs made specially for this book.

‘The purpose of architecture is to improve human life.’ John Lautner

‘After years of indefatigable research, Tycho and Jan-Richard’s book adds an invaluable resource for our understanding of Lautner. The contentiousness around Lautner’s work was probably inevitable, given his particular genius. For him, architecture was about finding the creative and perfect solution to the problem without concern for precedent, tradition, or fashion.’ Alan Hess

Little-Known Lautner in Echo Park to go on Sale


The Jules Salkin residence in Echo Park is set to go on the market, probably May 12, 2014. The house has been in the family from the beginning, but for the past 17 years was rented. The family has been unable to do all of the repairs necessary over the years, so it is a little run-down but clearly worthy of the right buyer.

Visit the website developed for the sale to see details and many photographs, including many taken at the Getty, where the present owner visited the Lautner archive and found plans and even early photographs.

Desert Hot Springs Motel Reopens

Motel exterior. Photograph by Karol Lautner Peterson

On March 4, 2011, Tracy Beckmann and Ryan Trowbridge welcomed guests to the newly renovated Desert Hot Springs Motel, designed by John Lautner in 1947. The motel is now surrounded by a protective wall and includes a small relaxation pool at the rear. Inside the wall is desert planting similar to that inside each unit.

Just three of the four units are available right now. The owners have had to contend with torrential rains that flooded all of the units,which set back their plans. New drains have been installed and the ground elevation modified to avoid any further flooding.

Tracy Beckmann and Ryan Trowbridge outside the motel. Photograph by Judith Lautner

For more information visit the hotel’s website.

Interior of one unit. Photograph by Judith Lautner

San Francisco Interview with Grigor on Lautner

Kenny Caldwell, architectural writer, interviewed Murray Grigor, director of Infinite Space, after the screening of the film in San Francisco. The interview, with pictures, is published on one of Caldwell’s blogs, Design Faith. The perceptive questions reveal much about Lautner’s relationship to the earth and to his clients as well as offer insight into the making of the film.

Italian Photographer of Sheats-Goldstein Featured in LA Times

Today’s Los Angeles Times features an article on Luisa Lambri, Italian photographer who tries to evoke a sense of “being there” in her photographs of buildings. The article discusses how she works, what she has done, and notes that most of her pictures of the Sheats-Goldstein residence are of the sky and perhaps a few lines of the building.

Read the article in this pdf version.

Leland Lee Photographs on Display in Palm Springs

Leland Lee, architectural photographer who photographed several Lautner buildings during his career, will be honored by a special reception at the Michael Lord Gallery in Palm Springs February 18. An exhibit of his photographs is on view there from February 12 through March 12, 2010.

Lee considers his time photographing the Elrod house a peak experience in his career. Now in his 90s, he can still be found attending architectural events and playing card games with a friend who owns a Lautner house.

The Michael Lord Gallery is at 1090 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs.

Article on Leland Lee Features Elrod Photographs

CA-Modern, a magazine that partners with the Los Angeles Conservancy, is featuring a photograph of the Elrod residence taken by architectural photographer Leland Lee many years ago. The article is about Lee and the tragic loss of most of Lee’s negatives and other photographic materials in a flood in the 1980s, and the loss of the remaining materials in a fire in 2002. Lee, now 91, is trying to resurrect his archive. Additional photographs of Lee and of the Elrod house are included in the article.

See the article in CA-Modern in a flip-book version online (requires Flash). Scroll down this page from the LA Conservancy to find the Elrod photograph and link to the flip-book.

Plans of Lautner buildings

The Foundation archive is at the Getty Research Institute, Special Collections. The archive contains plans for virtually every Lautner building, and photographs of most (although the foundation does not have the rights to many of the photographs). These materials can be copied or loaned under certain circumstances.

Start here. Click on the link to the “finding aid” on the right side of the page.

Search to see if there are plans or photographs of the buildings you are interested in.  If you can get to the Getty you can request permission to see what is available. For more info on borrowing materials from the Getty:

Photographs of Lautner buildings

The Foundation’s archive contains many photographs, but the Foundation does not hold the rights to most of them. To obtain photographs of Lautner buildings, contact the photographers directly.

Julius Shulman: contact the Getty Research Institute, Special Collections.

Alan Weintraub

Michael Moore: 206.780.3405 P.O. Box 11137 Bainbridge Island, WA 98110

Art Gray:

Photographs of Lautner buildings

Opening photograph by Tycho Saariste

Photographs of Lautner buildings are available to view on the Foundation’s Picasaweb albums. Photographs in those albums are by various photographers, most of whom are not professional, who generously donated their work to the Foundation. Also check the links page for other sites with photos, and for information on photographers. Below: some of the photos in these albums: