"Known to many as 'The Big Lebowski' house, it’s one of those places that sits you down and makes you say 'whoa' because of it’s daring imagination," Evan Troxel says.Read More
Conner & Perry Architects was recently mentioned in a well written and researched article in Apollo Magazine on the recent deal between the Goldstein Estate and LACMA. We highly recommend reading it (see link here) for a better understanding of the history of the property and the larger implications of the museum's acquisition of this architectural icon.
The Tennis Industry Magazine awarded the Goldstein Tennis Court in 2015 "Outstanding Residential Tennis Facility-of-the-year" and in the most recent issue February 2016 they recognized the court as one of best of the winning projects.
The history of the Goldstein Tennis Court begins with the Sheats-Goldstein Residence, originally designed and constructed by the renowned architect, John Lautner, in 1963 for the Sheats family, and was purchased by James Goldstein in 1972. This unique home, built with a minimal material pallet of concrete, steel, wood, and glass, contains almost no right angles and is built into a hillside that overlooks a view stretching from downtown Los Angeles to the Pacific Ocean. Mr. Goldstein was so enamored by the house that he hired the original architect to remodel the home for years to come in an ongoing process they would call “perfecting the house.”
As the years progressed Mr. Goldstein purchased the adjacent property and requested a design from Lautner for a tennis court, guest house, and reception building. Lautner completed a schematic design for the project, but unfortunately passed away in 1994 before the working drawings could commence. Duncan Nicholson, one of Lautner’s project architects, had worked on many aspects of the continuing renovation and construction of the original house, and stepped forward to continue the vision of both the architect and owner. As the project was further developed, Mr. Goldstein requested additional programatic elements and a design for an office and entertainment facility below the tennis court was introduced.
The tennis court is situated on a south facing slope, with a lush terraced garden on the northern uphill side. The western end is enclosed by a concrete wall extending up from the office structure below that also serves as a return wall. The eastern end will eventually be enclosed by the concrete structure of the Reception/Home Theater building. To the south, in order to maximize the beauty of the view, the owner requested that a glass guardrail be built to the minimum allowable height, regardless of the inevitable loss of the occasional errant ball. The result has been described as an “infinity” tennis court, with no visual barriers between the players and the dramatic surroundings. The tennis court structure is a double post-tension slab with waterproofing in between that allows it to serve as the building’s roof. This structural system minimizes the number of required support columns which enables an open plan below with large spans and a continuous frameless glass enclosure along the south facade. The columns penetrate deep into the bedrock supporting the massive structure that cantilevers out of the hillside. The tennis court's main structural slab thickness varies in depth from 30” at the columns to 8” at its edges; the resulting undulating surface is a functional necessity of the structure that also dramatically enhances the viewer’s experience in the rooms below as the ceiling rises up to the view beyond.
The realization of the tennis court was a major milestone for the project and could not have been done without the dedication of owner James Goldstein, Architect Duncan Nicholson of Nicholson Architects, Structural Engineer Andrew Nasser of Omnispan Corporation, Contractor Bruce Ostermann and Site Foreman Harry Ernst of Ostermann Construction, Inc., Glazing Subcontractor Giroux Glass, Inc., and Tennis Court Contractor and Consultant Richard Zaino of Zaino Tennis Courts.
Last year, on January 20th Architect Duncan Nicholson lost his life in a brief battle with cancer. It is a tragedy that he did not survive to see the completion of his greatest work. The project continues under the care of his proteges, Kristopher Conner and James Perry of Conner & Perry Architects, Inc.
See the link below to read the LA Times article covering the deal with a great description of the house, it's owner, and the history of the famed property. A press conference will be happening this afternoon to make an official announcement.
We look forward to working with Mr. Goldstein and LACMA in the future to ensure that this masterpiece is fully realized and available for the inspiration of many future generations to come.
For more information on the ongoing design and construction at the Goldstein Estate and to inquire about getting your own unique architectural designs contact Conner & Perry Architects
We had the pleasure of recently overseeing some minor but much needed repair work on the beautiful Schwimmer residence designed by architect John Lautner. Located in Beverly Hills, CA, the Schwimmer Residence is situated on a hillside slope that commands dramatic views of Los Angeles and beyond. Lautner described the home as a “horizontal castle.” He created large glass openings between a series of round stone turrets that create a structural support for the arched roof that is comprised of an array of large, curved Glulam beams and exposed Douglas Fir framing.
As part of the original design of the main entry into the house, the Douglas Fir structure of the canopy is exposed on the ends to create a trellis along a stone faced retaining wall. This design move allows natural light to flow down into the exterior entry space. Over time the exposed Douglas Fir trellis had been damaged by water and eventually began to rot. For this project it was important to restore the beauty of the original design intent while at the same time making an improvement to the detail. We worked with structural engineer, Andrew Nasser, general contractor John Alfano, and steel fabricator Breakform Design to come together and execute a new detail that provides a durable structural connection and protects the materials from the elements.
When working on any architecturally significant building, such as a John Lautner designed home, its important to respect the original design intentions of the architect. These homes are works of art and should be treated as such, so that they remain intact for the benefit and learning of future generations.
We eliminated the need for turnbuckles by using custom fabricated steel end supports developed by structural engineer Andrew Nasser. The canopy tent structure serves as a temporary cover to protect the entrance into the Goldstein entertainment complex.
A small step among many at the Goldstein Estate as the project continues to evolve towards its master planned design. Eventually the entry canopy will be replaced by a permanent concrete and glass roof structure that is part of the planned home theater building.
For more information about the project please contact Conner and Perry Architects.
A truly collaborative project that was a real learning experience for everyone involved, the repetitive tile project began as an abstract study of natural forms and an ode to the master Architect Louis Sullivan. Sullivan, former mentor to Frank Lloyd Wright, designed beautiful ornamental terra cotta tiles that decorated his buildings' exteriors and interiors.
As a side project, Architect Duncan Nicholson assigned the conceptual design work as a collaborative learning exercise for intern Merlin Andrews. Using mathematical formulas, including fractal geometry, to inform a 2d design, it was then modified by Kris Conner to develop repetitive tile pattern.
To bring this design into physical form Duncan contacted friend and fabricator extraordinaire Rives Rash III. Rives' shop was able to extrude the 2d design into a 3d milled foam positive of the design.
With assistance from Rives, James Perry was able to create a negative rubber mold of the positive foam tile. Years of experience with plaster during school at the University of Texas at Arlington working at the wood and model shop for manager Jeff Whatley allowed James to pour a series of plaster tiles with consistent quality and beauty.
Ready for installation, Duncan Nicholson selected to install the first series of tiles behind his desk on a wall in his office. He contacted master stone and tile contractor Mike Diona of Diona Marble to install the tiles and the installation came out flawlessly.
For more information about ordering this plaster design or getting your own custom design by Conner and Perry Architects contact us here.
New Year /
A new year is upon us and we are exited about breaking ground on a new single family home in Santa Monica Canyon. We have worked incredibly hard over the past year to bring this unique project to construction The house is based upon the final design concept of our late mentor Duncan Nicholson and we are pleased that it is now coming to fruition and that we continue to be a large part of making it a reality.
As we look forward to growing our practice this year we will do our best to see that all of our projects meet the high quality that was the standard under Nicholson Architects.
We will be updating the progress of this project as it rises from the ground and takes form. Please check back in and contact our office for more information or to inquire regarding your own one of a kind, Conner & Perry design.