One of the so-called bachelor homes designed by famed mid-century modern architect John Lautner is hitting the Los Angeles market on Friday for $2.998 million, Mansion Global has learned.
Known as the Bergren Residence, the two-bedroom home has a pitched roof, glass walls and views of the city and surrounding hills, according to the listing with Anthony Mian of Douglas Elliman Realty.
“The fact that Lautner is the designer is the most significant thing about the house: he was a disciple of Frank Lloyd Wright,” Mian said. “In Los Angeles, mid-century modern architecture is very desirable, so you have one of the creators of the original houses in the style…and then you have the view and the V-shaped roof looking out over the city . It’s inspiring when you’re in the living room.”
Hiram Banks, a principal consultant for Banks Landl Lighting Design and a regular restorer of historic homes, bought the property in 2018 for $1.95 million, according to property records.
“I have always been a fan of good architecture, like [Richard] Neutra and Lautner,” Mr. Banks told Mansion Global, noting that he visited the Bergren Residence one weekend and made an offer that was eventually accepted. He then he began the restoration.
“I worked with the architects who actually wrote the book on Lautner and did the files at the Getty Center on Lautner,” Banks continued, referring to Los Angeles-based architecture firm Escher Gunewardena, publishers of the monograph “John Lautner, Architect.” The team used Lautner’s original drawings and sketches of the house for reference.
“They brought it back to what it was, because there’s been a lot of things done over the years that weren’t good for the house,” Banks said.
For example, a window box on the side of the house was turned into a water feature, something the original architect would never have done, according to Banks. Additionally, the floors were coated with a gloss epoxy, which was eliminated in favor of the original mustard-colored concrete floors, and an HVAC system that had been installed on the roof was removed and smaller units were brought into the house.
Other changes were more structural, including replacing the roof and treating termite damage, Banks added.
The Bergren residence was initially designed as a one-bedroom bachelor pad, but another room was added later when the original owner, Big Band guitarist Ted Bergren, married, under Lautner’s management. There’s also a raised living room and stainless steel Poliform kitchen designed by Norman Foster that isn’t original, but Banks didn’t remove it for its minimalist look.
The house has an open living, dining and kitchen area, making it more conducive to modern living, he added.
“Everyone loves mid-century modern architecture, but it’s not always the most functional,” said Mr. Mian. “I think the fact that it’s all one level and actually has an open floor plan, you could actually live in it functionally, combined with the fact that it’s an original John Lautner house is really what sets it apart.” .
Lautner, also famous for their space-age roundhousesHe worked in the Los Angeles area from 1938, when he opened his own practice, until the end of his career. He died in 1994 at the age of 83.