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Happy 100th Birthday John Lautner!

by LiveModern Webmaster last modified Jan 04, 2012 03:10 AM
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by Edward Lifson ( last modified Jul 16, 2011



Happy Birthday, Iconoclast! No one has designed L.A. residential architecture quite as spectacular since you've been gone (1911-1994). One of my all-time favorites, for his reverence of nature, that his spaces make me gaze at the heavens and see connections, with stars and celestial beings, he blurs land, sky and water, mixes solid and air, practices a humane modernity based on nature, finds low-cost solutions with progressive engineering, he infuses his work with optimism despite his own crankiness. John Lautner was born one hundred years ago today.

See a calendar of events to honor him here.  

My childhood (in rural Michigan), I had a hundred miles of beaches, private beaches, you know: no people, no nothing. I mean, just go swimming anywhere you want, and no problem. The coast here to me is just ugly, you know, it's crazy. Malibu is nothing to me, it's just crazy." ... Oh it was depressing. I mean, when I first drove down Santa Monica Boulevard, it was so ugly I was physically sick for the first year I was here. Because after living in Arizona and Michigan and Wisconsin, mostly out in the country, and mostly with good architecture ... this was the ugliest thing I'd ever seen ... If you tried to figure out how to make a row of buildings ugly, you couldn't do it any better than it's been done [here]. I mean they're just ugly, naturally ugly, all the way. There isn't a single, legitimate, good-looking thing anywhere.

From "Responsibility, Infinity, Nature" — John Lautner interviewed by Marlene L. Laskey, Oral History Program, University of Los Angeles, California, 1986





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