The Five Best Modernist Houses From Your Favorite Movies.

Ever watch a movie and ask yourself; “What house is this? it’ gorgeous!”. Well, if you do, this article was written for you. Here are the five best modernist houses from your favorite movies.

The Lovell House, Julius Shulman Koenig

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – The Ben Rose House

Location: Highland Park Illinois

Architects: A. James Speyer and David Haid

Date: 1953

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, written, co-produced, and directed by John Hughes and Tom Jacobson came out in 1986 and is an American classic. It’s about a high school senior named Ferris Bueller who decides to skip class and get’s himself in quite some trouble. If you haven’t seen it, I greatly recommend you do.

Regardless of the storyline, Ferris Bueller is portrayed as being a teenager from a wealthy family making him surrounded by nice things, notably a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT parked inside the Ben Rose House. The house was designed by Architects A. James Speyer and David Haid and was built in Highland Park, Illinois.

The Ben Rose House

The Big Lebowski – Sheats-Goldstein Residence

Architect: John Lautner

Location: Beverly Crest, Los Angeles, California

Date: 1961-1963

The Sheats Goldstein Residence

Here is another American Classic: The Big Lebowski. It’s a 1998 crime comedy film written, produced, and directed by Joel & Ethan Coen.  Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski, is a California slacker and an avid bowler. He is assaulted as a result of mistaken identity, after which he learns that a millionaire also named Jeffrey Lebowski was the intended victim.

The Big Lebowski (1998)

The movie features the gorgeous Sheats Goldstein Residence, a house designed and built between 1961 and 1963 by architect John Lautner. The residence is located in the Beverly Crest neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. The home was built into the sandstone ledge of a hillside, Making the house blend into a natural cave-like space. The house is an example of Organic Architecture as the structures of the building are an extension of the natural environment it was built in. John Lautner is well known for building houses that embrace their environment instead of being hostile to it, and as you will see, this isn’t the only John Lautner house on the list.

Sheats Goldstein Residence

Diamonds Are Forever – Elrod House

Architect: John Lautner

Location: Palm Springs, California

Date: 1968

Diamonds are forever, James Bond Series, (1971)

The seventh James Bond movie, Diamonds are Forever is a 1971 spy film produced by Eon Productions starring Sean Connery as Mr.Bond. The film is based on Ian Fleming’s 1956 novel of the same name. The story has Bond impersonating a diamond smuggler to infiltrate a smuggling ring, and soon uncovers that his old nemesis, Ernst Stavro Blofeld,  needs the diamonds to build a weapon with the ablity to destroy a city. He has to stop the smuggling and stall Blofeld’s plan of destroying Washington, D.C.

Elrod House

In the movie is featured another house designed by John Lautner: The Elrod House.  It is located in Palm Springs, California and was constructed in 1968 for Arthur Elrod, the interior designer. The Elrod House is another example of John Lautner’s organic architecture as here again the structures blend in with the environment they’ve been built in. When it was built, the soil was excavated but the rocks were kept in place and are now part of the interior.  

Elrod House

Its best-known feature is the large circular concrete canopy above the main living area with a circular glass design. The living room incorporates large rocks and opens onto an outdoor swimming pool and a terrace that offers a view of Palm Springs and the San Jacinto Peak.

L.A. Confidential – The Lovell House

Architect: Richard Neutra

Location: Los Angeles, California

Date: 1927-1929

L.A. Confidential is a 1997 American crime film directed, produced and co-written by Curtis Hanson. The screenplay is based on James Ellroy’s 1990 novel of the same name, The film tells the story of a group of LAPD officers in 1953, along with the intersection of police corruption and Hollywood celebrity. The title refers to the 1950s scandal magazine Confidential, portrayed in the film as Hush-Hush.

L.A. Confidential (1997)

In the film, we see the Lovell house sometimes also known as the Lovell Health House. It is an International style modernist residence designed Richard Neutra and constructed between 1927 and 1929 for the physician and naturopath Philip Lovell. The home is found in Los Angeles, California. It is said that it was this house that marked the beginning of Richard Neutra’s Career.

Lovell House, Photograph by Julius Koenig

Body Double – The Chemosphere

Architect: John Lautner

Location: Holywood, Los Angeles, California

Date: 1960

Body Double first came out in 1984 as an erotic thriller film. It was co-written and directed by Brian De Palma as a direct homage to the films of Alfred Hitchcock, taking plot lines and themes (such as voyeurism and obsession) seen in Hitchcock’s Rear Window (1954) and Vertigo (1958).

Body Double (1984)

The storyline is about a struggling actor who lost his role in a low-budget horror movie due to his severe claustrophobia. Returning home, he discovers his girlfriend cheating on him, he splits and is left without a place to stay. At an acting class, he meets Sam. Together, they go to a bar where Scully is offered a place to stay; Sam’s rich friend has gone on a trip to Europe and needs a house-sitter for his ultra-modern home in the Hollywood Hills.

The Chemosphere

This House is the Chemosphere. The Chemosphere is designed in 1960 by American architect John Lautner and built in Hollywood, Los Angeles. This house is admired for the ingenuity of its solution to the problematic terrain it was built on. The Chemosphere is also known for its Modernist design and octagonal shape, almost resembling a UFO. This house is a reflection of its time period as it was designed in the midst of the cold war and notably the “Space Race”. To Read the full article on the Chemosphere, click here.

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