The Salkin House

  • Details
  • Completion:2017
  • location:Los Angeles
  • Photography:Laure Joliet

This intimate 1,100 sf house designed by the late midcentury architect John Lautner had mysteriously slipped off the radar for 65 years. Designed and built originally for Jules Salkin, the two bedroom house (1948) was owned by one family for decades. The house, which had been rented for decades, had fallen into disrepair, with long-put off repairs and upkeep. The distinct butterfly shaped roof often leaked at the glass connections and the flat pad, which the house rests on had settled and needed to be adjusted. The house, instead of a wood-frame or post-and-beam construction, utilized wing-shaped structural bents at eight-foot intervals across the length of the house. At the center, two rows of columns support the structure, meaning the roof can float free from the glass walls like a parasol.

The renovation by Bestor Architecture included major repairs such as  realigning the sagging foundation, an interior stripped down to the distinctive red concrete floor,  glass walls that were removed and replaced with contemporary, sustainable glass elements, new cabinetry, and the repair of the distinct redwood siding. Together the architect, clients, and contractor updated the materials and used modern technology to solve the waterproofing issues that had frustrated previous residents and so damaged the house. An ill-conceived 1960’s bedroom addition was removed and the carport was restored to bring this dynamic design back to life.