Great Architects of Los Angeles – Past and Present

Many people believe that the best Los angeles area residential homes were created by the designer Frank Lloyd Wright. It’s hard to go against that wisdom, but the truth is that there are many different styles of homes throughout the Los angeles area that deserve as much attention for their unique styles as Wright’s homes do.

That notwithstanding, you can’t begin talking about homes in the Los angeles County area without top Beverly Hills architects first looking at Wright’s homes. His first area home, known as the Hollyhock House, which was built in 1921, was supposed to be his interpretation of what he considered would be the Southern California lifestyle. Initially it was supposed to be a full complex of multiple buildings, but financial differences came up and it stopped with just the Hollyhock House and two secondary residences.

Someone who built homes within the same time period was Rudolf Schindler, often associated with the fringes of the modern movement in architecture. He enjoyed building homes in three-dimensional forms with warm materials and striking colors, and one of the homes he was best known for was the John J. Buck Residence, which was built in 1934.

Next we move into homes built a little bit later, middle of the century, and since we started with Frank Wright, we might as well show this fabulous residence known as the Ross House, built in 1957 by his grandson, Eric Lloyd Wright, a beautiful homes with large balconies and lush landscaping.

Not to be outdone, one of the younger Wright’s contemporaries, John Lautner, has built many homes throughout the county, but one of his first was the beautiful residence known as Wolff House. It’s a three-bedroom in the Hollywood Hills sculpted in wood, stone and glass.

Of course, we can’t just stop at one house for Lautner, so let’s take a look at this beautiful residence known as the Segel Home, which at one point was owned by Courtney Cox and David Arquette, and is now owned by Frank and Jamie McCourt, the owners of the Los angeles Dodgers.

Nowadays architects build bigger, taller, and more streamlined residences that stand out, mainly because they’re in close quarters with other homes. One such residence is known as the Keck Residence, built by architect Glen Irani in 1996. This three-story home is known for its large, outside stairs and liberal use of glass doors and walls.

Another wonderful home is known as the McDowell House, built by the architect Barbara Bestor in 2004 but not completed until 2009. It’s a two-level cubist house with many open spaces, lots of glass, and many concrete columns.

What do all of these houses have in common? Los angeles County is the type of place known for creativity because of its association with music, theater, television and movies. Unlike other communities around the country, Los angeles doesn’t expect its planned communities to have houses that all look the same. If someone has enough land where they can build a residence away from others, or whether they only have enough land to build their homes within a smaller community, it’s not the style of the house as much as its design and, of course, the architects, that determine the value of the land and homes in its area.


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