The Wolff Residence, a fascinating house was built in 1961 by John Lautner. Only a few miles from Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, is now available for sale for $6.5 million. The residence was named after the interior designer and the house’s original owner Marco Wolff.
The Lautner’s residence is built of stone, copper, and glass is a true midcentury primarypiece with an impressive living room, spacious dining space, modernized stainless steel kitchen, lone primary bedroom, and 1.5 bathrooms. Lautner’s house is a unique example of the residence’s integration into the natural environment by creating an organic and harmonious flow between the exterior and interior.
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The house’s top floor includes a dramatic living room with a stone fireplace, a large eucalyptus tree, and 16-foot floor-to-ceiling windows. A magnificent staircase, resembling a strand of DNA, leads to the medium level where the primary bedroom with the walls made of treaded wood, stone and glass is located. The glass doors of the bedroom open onto a private terrace with a breathtaking one hundred and eighty-degree panoramic view. The residence’s bottom level is a relaxation zone with a sun deck and a black-bottomed cantilevered swimming pool. The house’s walls and roofs are woven between four eucalyptus trees, by making it look like a love nest on a hillside.
The initial size of the house was 1,664 square feet until Marco Wolff decided to extend the house and add more space for visitors. In 1970 he hired John Lautner to design a 1,169-foot guest house with three additional bedrooms and two bathrooms in the western part of the residence. It effectively turned an originally one-bedroom bachelor house into a spacious four-bedroom home. Today the house, sitting on a 9,784 square foot lot, offers a total area of 2,834 square feet.
Besides Marco Wolff, other past owners of the residence included the trophy home collector Michael LaFetra and actor Vincent Gallo. Last time the house was sold for $5.5 million in 2008, and then has cycled on and off the real estate market several times during the past 10 years, with the total price as high as $8 million. Finally, in November 2019 the Lautner’s residence was listed for $6.5 million.
The residence is listed as a California State Monument and is designated a Historical-Cultural Monument by the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission. By offering a peaceful harbor, unity with nature, and refuge from a busy urban life, Wolff’s residence is more than just a house. It is a valuable jewel and a demonstration of the Lautner’s skillful use of design and expressive engineering.
John Lautner was among the most influential modernist architects of the 20th century. He had been practicing architecture for 55 years, designing unique and unusual homes both in the Los Angeles area and abroad. He also designed several innovative restaurants, including Tiny Naylor’s, Henry’s, and Googies. The Wolff’s residence was one of his favorite five and most successful architectural projects.
Photo credit: Darwin Nercesian