This weekend we took a private tour of the Sheats Goldstein Residence (built in 1963) that was set-up by the Association for Women in Architecture + Design. I've seen some opportunities to tour or attend events at the house in the past but finally decided to check it out.
I had been impressed with Lautner's design for the home based on countless photos I'd seen before but had never really looked into learning too much about it, which allowed for quite a few pleasant surprises along the way.
At the beginning of our visit, we had to walk along a path of concrete and glass stepping stones through a koi pond leading to the front door (yes, please!). Feature added to the running list for my future dream home.
All along the tour, I was amazed at the sheer level of customization and attention to detail that went into the house and its surrounding property. One of the main design principles focused on blending indoor/outdoor space which was achieved throughout the space as materials, water, and plants seamlessly flowed back and forth across the boundaries.
In the living room, as expected, the iconic triangulated ceiling was massively impressive. It was interesting to learn that the glass punctures throughout the concrete above were created by inserting small drinking glasses into the roof to achieve an effect that would mimic the way that sunlight passes through trees in the forest. I think what surprised me the most, though, were all of the dynamic features in the home, which began getting introduced in this first space. In the past, a tv popped up from a Jetson's-style coffee table, which still remains, albeit no longer in use. Today, a large LCD swings down from the wood paneling in the ceiling above with the hit of a button on a remote.
Outside, we learned that portals looking into the pool were included in the design so that the original owner could watch her children swimming while she worked in her art studio (located below). Today, they're a feature in James Goldstein's Master Suite.
The Master Suite features a curtain wall that opens to a precipitous drop below at the corner of the room, an awesome pivoting built-in desk chair designed by Lautner himself, a scale hidden in the floor, a Clueless-style rotating closet filled to the brim with iconic fashion pieces, a sink that drains down the angled exterior of the home, and a hot tub that reveals itself from underneath the deck outside with the click of a button. Everywhere we turned there were hidden features.
On the exterior, Goldstein has had the landscape transformed into 4-ish acres of tropical forest with meandering paths throughout the property. I wish we had gotten a chance to explore - this is my kind of garden!
Beyond the main house, we also got to tour the newly constructed infinity tennis court and the nightclub below which are both very impressive and have been integrated into the site well.
In all, I wish we had taken more photos of all of the features of the design of the Sheats Goldstein Residence but something gives me a feeling that we'll be back there again. It's also worth noting that prior to this tour, the Stahl House was most definitely my favorite house in Los Angeles. But now, I'm just not sure. Sorry Koenig, Lautner might have you beat.