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For sale: John Lautner's Bergren House - Los Angeles, CA

 
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DavidC



Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 6594
Location: Oak Ridge, TN

PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 3:58 pm    Post subject: For sale: John Lautner's Bergren House - Los Angeles, CA Reply with quote

Grab This Sleek L.A. Midcentury by John Lautner For Under $2M


David
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 16383
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is what John Lautner chose to display in his monograph (Frank Escher, ed.; London: Artemis, 1994)






photo © J Shulman



photo © J Shulman



photo © J Shulman



photo John Lautner


unknown photographer





Previous discussion: http://wrightchat.savewright.org/viewtopic.php?p=52622&sid=16af8c7ce389fcf8bcc0e8c4950cd7c7

SDR
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8669

PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It looks better now than the last time it was on the market. But the white doesn't do it justice. Originally the walls were coral, trim turquoise and the ceiling was finished with green-patina copper foil. The "water feature" (which I believe was added by the previous owner) was originally filled with plants, and extended through the glass wall into the north garden, the defining edge in brick. That must have been an MCM delight: Lush greenery against a wall of coral. Where the bench is now located, there was another tiny garden enclosed in glass, with an opening in the ceiling. That was long ago eliminated; it must have cause havoc when the rains came flooding down the butterfly roof, aimed at the hole in the roof.

The added bedroom was factored into the plan seamlessly ... between the original bedroom and a wall continuing the back side of the work shop in the plan above. The new entry is just around the corner of the work shop.

This was one of Lautner's underrated gems. I'm glad to see it has been kept close to its original state. A guest cottage to the east of the house, up a steep walkway, long a separate residence, has been swallowed whole by a house of indifferent quality.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 16383
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Roderick. I wonder if the house was published when new or nearly so; it would be fine to see the colors you describe.

The ceiling as photographed by Shulman and Lautner, above, doesn't show the ceiling treatment you mention; perhaps Lautner
added that later ? Of course, there were two separate examples of this design, built in succession on the same site, and it might
be difficult or impossible to distinguish the two in undated photos . . .

SDR
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 16383
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alan Hess does not describe the Bergren house in the 1999 Lautner monograph published by Rizzoli International; three small photos are found in the book.

Lautner's minimalist window-wall detailing owes something to Jack Hillmer -- or vice versa . . .?










photos © 1999 by Alan Weintraub


Last edited by SDR on Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8669

PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The portion of the ceiling that was covered with the copper foil was only the flat part betwixt the beams. The beams were left raw wood.

Notice the couch in the period photo. That was cantilevered on brackets set into the corbeled brick wall. When Steve Danforth owned the house, even though the couch had been removed, the holes where the steel supports fit were still extant.

I don't care for the dining/kitchen redo. The original dining set was almost an outdoor affair that fit more gracefully than a mere MCM table. The fixture it's attached to was a bar with a sound system, the wood panel behind it, the door to the work shop. The floor, as you can see, had scored unit lines which extended to the south terrace. I don't know what the material was, probably concrete, but I am sure it wasn't quite as blank as it is now. The kitchen was also more in keeping with the nature of the house. Modern kitchen facilities just don't go with this sort of modest construction.

Note in the article photo of the kitchen (and on the floor plan) the bent wood panel at the center. That slender bit holds up the entire south end of the roof.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
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Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The top photo is the NE corner of the living room. Second shows the door from the living room to the north terrace. Third is looking from the SW corner of the living room toward what was the work shop (now plastered over) which wall now extends out to the carport, which I suspect Steve added ... not sure. Steve wanted to turn the house into a Usonian. I told him that was impossible. But it looks like he gave it a shot. And there on the left is the folded plate support.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
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Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very tricky construction and spacial articulation, difficult to read in photos. Maybe a digital model needs to be made. It would also be useful to have a modified plan to compare to the original.

Note the greater number of panes in that rear window wall in the early photo . . .

SDR
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8669

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The structure isn't all that difficult. The line that divides the living room and bedroom is the valley of a butterfly roof which slopes down toward the kitchen end (see photos 4, 5 and 10). Photo 6 is the original bedroom, and 7 is a complete remodeling of the first bath. The second bedroom (12, 13), which is not shown on the plan, is adjacent to the outside wall of the original bedroom with the clerestories. The new room has a flat roof and is 2 steps down from the entrance. The exterior of the new bedroom (12) suggests that some structural work was done. There was a serious sag in the floor of that bedroom which seems to be fixed now. 14 is the new bath, similar in size and shape to the original, and similarly reimagined.

Photo 11 of the terrace on the south side, looking into the kitchen area shows the posts of the larger windows. Why that alteration was made, I don't know. It must have been after Steve.
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Tom



Joined: 30 Jan 2011
Posts: 2337
Location: Black Mountain, NC

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Color photo of fireplace above has bronze plaque from Wright's Oak Park Studio.
Or am I mistaken?
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Reidy



Joined: 07 Jan 2005
Posts: 1449
Location: Northern CA

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The original might be ceramic or plaster rather than bronze, but otherwise yes.
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is a plaster copy of the plaque.
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Craig



Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 527
Location: California

PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Toured the house last week. The photos don't capture the indoor/outdoor relationship as experienced. With either end of the small living space composed of glass, the house feels like a minimal shelter.

Not sure why anyone would place the sofa anywhere other than as done originally. The ceiling height at that end of the room is quite low, maybe 6'.

Agree about the new steel kitchen. It's far too hard-edged for the rusticity. More modest redwood cabinetry would have integrated nicely.
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