Going back to the future with the visionary West Coast architect
Michigan-born architect John Lautner (1911–1994) was behind some of the most striking and innovative architectural designs in mid-20th-century America. With designs for homes and commercial buildings primarily in Southern California, Lautner’s innovative work captured the pioneering optimism of 1950s America, a time of space-age technology, economic growth, and affluence. Today, several of Lautner’s houses are labeled Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monuments. Lautner’s projects focused on the relationship between humans, space, and nature. He was always particularly sensitive to the surrounding environment and would often integrate water and natural landscapes into his designs. His houses are characterized by sweeping rooflines, glass- paneled walls, and steel beams, in a heady combination of fantasy and minimalism.