If New York is defined by its skyscrapers and Rome by its churches, Los Angeles is a melting pot of influences that have rendered it an architectural anomaly. Never sticking to one style and always pushing the boundaries of what a city could look like, countless architects in Los Angeles have left their mark across the area with bold buildings and iconic homes. These are only some of the most well-known architects who have influenced the way the city looks today.
Although Canadian by birth, Frank Gehry has left his indelible footprint all across Los Angeles ever since he graduated from USC in 1954. Perhaps most widely known for his remarkable contributions to contemporary architecture, he has been responsible for countless sculpture-like buildings all across the world and in Los Angeles, where he has resided most of his life. His house in Santa Monica, known as the Gehry Residence, is an icon of deconstructivist architecture and attracts its fair share of fans to the site. The Norton House in Venice, the Kline Residence in Bel Air, and the Artists’ Studios in Santa Monica are a few other famous homes he has designed across the city. However, his most notable contribution to Los Angeles is arguably the renowned Walt Disney Concert Hall in Downtown, which resembles a huge stainless steel flower opening up its metallic flower petals to the sun and houses the LA Philharmonic.
Having trained with Frank Lloyd Wright himself, John Lautner redefined the look of Los Angeles by introducing what was later known as Googie architecture. Inspired by the Space Age, car culture, and the Atomic Age, Lautner and his contemporaries influenced the identity of the city through venues that would be considered rather mundane. Diners, coffeehouses, car washes, and similar commercial establishments were prime examples of the use of geometric shapes, curvaceous upswept roofs, and bold instances of glass, neon, and steel that you see all across movies from Hollywood’s Golden Age. However, it’s Lautner’s residential commissions that are perhaps best remembered today. His iconic Chemosphere house, which still overlooks Mulholland Drive, is an octagonal house that rests atop a fifty-foot concrete pillar, accessible only through its very own funicular railroad.
A professor at the USC School of Architecture for forty years, Pierre Koenig might have been born in San Francisco, but it was Los Angeles that he called home for most of his life and whom he devoted himself to in terms of architecture. He is best known for his two Case Study Houses, staples of the mid-century local architecture scene, the Bailey House and the Stahl House. These iconic homes, which overlook Hollywood Hills, have been featured in countless movies, shows, and photoshoots. They are easily recognizable thanks to their emphasis on the homes’ functional structures and their floor to ceiling windows providing an unparalleled view of the city. Koenig gained notoriety for these designs because their locations were previously considered unbuildable sites. However, Koenig’s visionary approach to housing architecture made him into one of the most prominent architects in LA at the time.
Find Architects in Los Angeles
Los Angeles in no way ever stopped evolving. Even today, sustainable architecture and postmodernism keep shifting the way the city looks, giving it an ever-renewable identity. If you are looking for a firm of architects in LA that will add your project to this legacy, contact RBB Architects Inc. today. Call us at (310) 473-3555 and let’s get started!