Saved from severe neglect and demolition, this modern vacation rental in Los Angeles designed by influential modernist architect Raphael Soriano, has been designated a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument, earning a Conservancy Preservation Award in 2013.
Initially designed in 1940 for noted ceramicist, USC professor, and co-founder of Arts and Architecture magazine, Glen Lukens, the home is an important example of Soriano’s early work in the International Style.
The architect, who previously worked for Richard Neutra and R.M. Schindler, built relatively few homes in LA, with only a handful that still exist, including this rare modernist gem in LA’s Victorian era West Adams neighborhood.
The home even figures in then budding architect Frank Gehry’s rise to fame, when his friendship with Lukens prompted an inspiring meeting with Soriano during the home’s initial construction.
The owner who saved the home researched Soriano’s published works and toured two existing homes from the same period before enlisting architect Barry Milofsky of M2A Architects and restoration specialist Albert Luna to carefully restore it, drawing on Soriano’s original plans as well as historic photographs from notable architecture photographer Julius Shulman (who notably, then enlisted Soriano to design his own home).
The home’s structural composition of clean lines, ribbon-banded steel frame windows, and unique, built-in framework and period features place this firmly at the rise of mid-century ideals, with current design inspirations and personal style that carry it into the 21st century.
The meandering gardens occupy a lot that had once been part of the historic gardens of the turn of the century Lyndsay Mansion, with an original glass greenhouse built in 1908 that has been restored and re-purposed as a dining pavilion.
Saved from the wrecking ball, this home’s remarkable history still stands at the epicenter of some of the 20th century’s most influential design luminaries, and remains one of Soriano’s lasting architectural contributions to Los Angeles.