We never met a home by Organic Modernist John Lautner we didn't like, but this one--nicknamed Silvertop--is a particular favorite, so it's exciting to hear, via the Wall Street Journal, that it's on the market for the first time in 40 years, asking $7.5 million. The design incorporates "interlocking half-circles," loads of windows to showcase the incredible views from the home' hillside perch, and an exquisite concrete dome--Lautner's first use of "monolithic concrete" for sculptural as well as architectural purposes, says the LA Conservancy.
The home was commissioned in 1956 for Kenneth Reiner, who made a small fortune on ladies hair clips and aviation patents. He worked very closely with Lautner to create this house, and Lautner built elements into the home specifically according to Reiner's specifications; in the event that the equipment didn't exist to meet those specifications, Reiner would often design and make the necessary piece for Lautner. some Reiner-designed elements in the home include "lights that pivot into the ceiling, and electrically-controlled skylights."
The result of all the efforts of the two men was an incredible home, with "faucet-less sinks that automatically filled with water; a dining table with a hydraulic pedestal that was lowered for cocktails and elevated for meals; a system for heating and cooling that could not be seen or heard; and controls for lights and appliances that were discreetly set into walls and doors jambs," plus a cantilevered driveway, as the LA Times noted in their obituary for Reiner, who passed away in 2011.
The construction of Silvertop was only supposed to cost $75,000, but it ended up being closer to $1 million. A poorly-timed row with a business partner left Reiner bankrupt and forced to sell the house before construction was finished. The current owners bought the home in 1974 and hired Lautner to finish the job shortly after.
The three-bedroom, four-bathroom house spans 4,721 square feet, and includes a guesthouse (which contains a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and a photography darkroom), and a workshop on the property, according to the listing. The asking price again was $7.5 million.
· L.A. Home Designed by John Lautner to List for $7.5 Million [WSJ]
· Architecture for Sale: Silvertop [Official site]
· The Man Who Helped Make Lautner's Silvertop a Reality [Curbed LA]
· Silvertop archives [Curbed LA]