Landmark Houses: John Lautner’s Chemosphere – latimes.com

8 Sep

The sleek, octagonal design, arguably the boldest work by the singular architect John Lautner, is considered a masterpiece of California Modernism and is beloved by cultists of midcentury design.

The approach to the house, with purple Pride of Madeira and red geraniums in bloom.
The unusual construction of Lautner’s octagonal design has helped it weather earthquakes and heavy rains.
Publisher Benedikt Taschen, photographed at work in the home in 2005, sits behind expanses of glass reflecting clouds and sky.
Clean-lined furnishings include an oval dining room table by Florence Knoll and suspended lamps of bent plexiglass strips by L.A. artist Jorge Pardo.
The living room includes an Eames chair and coffee table and a rug by Albert Oehlen. The small window near floor level, rear left, offers a glimpse of the driveway.
Publisher Benedikt Taschen says of the iconic 1960 home he bought in 1997 and restored, “It’s the responsibility of the owner to preserve it for future generations because a house like this doesn’t belong to one or two people: It belongs to mankind.”
Chemosphere’s panoramic windows open up to views of the San Fernando Valley; the other side of house faces a quiet hillside, a scene that can almost feel like a nature preserve.
By Scott Timberg
All photos by ( Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times )
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