Goldstein Phase 2 by Kristopher Conner

Progress occurred early into 2019 with the structural concrete pour of the cantilevered concrete infinity pool. This structure forms the boundary of the lower terrace to Club James. The new rendering of the project shows a completed lower terrace and looks east toward the new reception building and theater that will enclose the terrace.

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Office Holiday Cards by Kristopher Conner

Organic architects, historically, are lovers of the holiday season, and we are no exception. There is a tradition here at Conner & Perry that, it is said, goes back to Frank Lloyd Wright’s office. Duncan Nicholson would custom design a Christmas card for his office every year, and as he told us, it was a tradition he adopted from John Lautner. He said Lautner, who had continued the practice from his days with Wright, would have an inner-office competition to see who would design the official holiday greeting card for that year and the winning design would be printed and distributed to clients, family, friends, and collaborators to spread the Christmas spirit.

2012 Holiday card for Nicholson Architects, hand cut construction paper by Duncan Nicholson.

2012 Holiday card for Nicholson Architects, hand cut construction paper by Duncan Nicholson.

This year our competition boiled down to three finalist. The first entry is an intricate snowflake themed geometric pattern based on a dia-grid developed by founding partner James Perry. The pattern depicts the ice crystals in plan and section.

Design by James Perry,, Copyright Conner & Perry Architects, Inc. 2018

Design by James Perry,, Copyright Conner & Perry Architects, Inc. 2018

The second design, by project architect Frank Palomares, is a bold graphic manipulation of a classic Christmas scene.

Design by Frank Palomares, Copyright Conner & Perry Architects, Inc. 2018

Design by Frank Palomares, Copyright Conner & Perry Architects, Inc. 2018

The third, and final selected design, is a collaboration between founding partner Kristopher Conner and project architect Ryan Bautista. It features a geometric tiled pattern in the background that is based on a design developed while James and Kris worked for Duncan Nicholson. The composition is layered with a snowflake graphic and each side follows an inverted gradient that graphically emphasizes the text.

Design by Kristopher Conner and Ryan Bautista, Copyright Conner & Perry Architects, Inc. 2018

Design by Kristopher Conner and Ryan Bautista, Copyright Conner & Perry Architects, Inc. 2018

Conner & Perry would like to wish everyone a happy holiday season. Our office will be closed from December 24 until January 2. We look forward to making more beautiful architecture in the coming year!

Architecture Student Tour at Sheats-Goldstein Residence by Kristopher Conner

Kent State Architecture Students photo credit Jon Yoder

Kent State Architecture Students photo credit Jon Yoder

As part of our gratifying preservation and restoration work at the Sheats-Goldstein residence (built in 1963 and designed by architect, John Lautner) we occasionally have the honor to give tours of the historically significant home to architecture and design students. The home is a prime example of organic modern architecture: designed from the existing site and for the individual family.  When showing the house there is no need to spend lengthy amounts of time using academic language to embellish this architectural icon.  As students are able to see it for themselves the architecture does the talking. The entrance sequence, with its intimate scale and natural flow, draws from Lautner’s apprenticeship under Frank Lloyd Wright.  But as the low wood ceilings transition to the rising triangulated concrete coffered roof in the living room, the expansive view opens up with a soaring effect and the dynamic form thrusts the occupant's gaze out into the city beyond.

 

The owner, James “Jim” Goldstein, fell in love with this home when he first saw it and quickly purchased it in 1972.  He understood the brilliance of Lautner’s intention and re-hired the architect to improve the home in a series of renovations that would eliminate all framed glass and bring the house to its full potential: pushing concrete and glass to the very essence of their material capabilities.

Club James photo credit Jon Yoder

Club James photo credit Jon Yoder

John Lautner passed away in 1994, but the owner continued to work on the property and home with former Lautner associate Duncan Nicholson. It was under Nicholson that the artist James Turrell's Skyspace "Above Horizon" was realized, as well as extensive landscape improvements and an entertainment complex ("Club James") adjacent to the home was begun.  In early 2015 Duncan Nicholson passed away and Jim Goldstein hired former Nicholson project architects Kris Conner and James Perry, who had formed their own firm, Conner & Perry Architects to further the project.  It was recently announced that Goldstein will be gifting the home to LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art). The property is the first in what the museum hopes will become a premier collection of the renowned modern residential architecture for which Los Angeles has become famous.

Upper Tennis Court Terrace Kent State Students photo credit Jon Yoder

Upper Tennis Court Terrace Kent State Students photo credit Jon Yoder

One of the main goals of owner James Goldstein's gift to LACMA is that the home might inspire young architects to question the existing norms of what modern architecture is today and what it can be in the future.  We recently took architecture students from Kent State through the home and, as always, we get to enjoy their reactions as they transition from one space to the next.  It is our hope that many aspiring architects and enthusiasts for generations to come will have the opportunity to experience the epiphany that is the Goldstein Estate.

The Facebook Group John Lautner: The Real Thing, in conjunction with the John Lautner Foundation, is putting together an upcoming tour on July 28th, 2018.  Tickets here.

New Conceptual Designs for a House in Culver City by Kristopher Conner

These are three schematic designs for a complete renovation to a one story single-family residence in Culver City for a young family. The unique lot is pie shaped opening towards the back to an existing pool and outdoor space. 

Schematic 1:

The first design provides a cantilevered covered parking in the front of the building. The design also provides a completely open living, dining, and kitchen on the first floor that flows out to the backyard. The bedrooms are located above on the second floor and the master bedroom includes a deck. The bedrooms also open to a hallway seating area that provides a personal desk for each of the children around the double volume living space.  

Schematic 2:

In the second design you enter into the double volume living space that opens out onto the backyard. The existing garage was converted to a granny flat ADU and the house uses the roof by converting it into an exterior deck for the upper floor. The pool was modified to include a baja shelf and integrated deck that flows from outside to inside with a covered trellis.

Schematic 3:

The third design kept the existing location of the garage and pool house completely separate from the new house design. This concept limited the structural modifications to 8 new structural supports and one new wall modification of the existing structure to provide a completely new second story addition and overall design for the existing home. 

James Goldstein Office Glass by Kristopher Conner

James Goldstein Office Glass

The design of the office and glass details were developed by Architect Duncan Nicholson working with Structural Engineer Andrew Nasser. The cantilevered glass canopy is secured with bolts at the header and has a custom triangular stainless steel fitting that secures the top and bottom glass panels that work together to support one another. The glass was installed by Brad Leslie of Giroux Glass the custom stainless steel hardware was fabricated by Breakform Design. During the installation Giroux Glass used a spider crane to manipulate the large panes of glass into place.

Spider Crane Glass Installation
Giroux Glass Installation

The finished space is a spectacular and unique office with a clear span opening to the view that cants outward allowing you step up and lean out toward the view. 

Goldstein Office Glass Detail

Goldstein Estate-LACMA in Apollo Magazine by Kristopher Conner

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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.

What is Los Angeles good at, beyond movies? Yes, the city has made an underrated contribution to modern art, and yes, much of Western pop music has come out of Los Angeles (although often incubated elsewhere first) and hell, it even has a couple of competent sports teams. But where the city has been a bona fide global leader in the last 100 years is in the field of residential architecture . . .

. . . Lautner, who died in 1994, did not design Club James, as it is known, but Goldstein got the next best thing: Lautner’s protégé Duncan Nicholson. When Nicholson unexpectedly died last year, the project passed to the firm of Kristopher Conner and James Perry, who had, in turn, been mentored by Nicholson. Goldstein’s extension of his property is a direct homage to its original architect – what an art historian might call ‘School of Lautner’. But it is far from original.
— Jonathan Griffin, "Big Lebowski pad acquired by LACMA" Apollo Magazine, 27 April, 2016 (http://www.apollo-magazine.com/big-lebowski-pad-acquired-by-lacma/)