Cool Micro-Resort – The Lautner

Photo by Dan Chavkin

Through the efforts of L.A. interior designer Tracy Beckmann and her partner, furniture designer Ryan Trowbridge, you can experience the glamorous Lautner spell that has entranced Hollywood at The Lautner—the only existing John Lautner building that you can actually spend the night in. If you’re a fan of architecture and dream of staying in a Lautner property, then this is the place for you. This is a great hotel to stay if you’re attending Modernism Week in Palm Springs. It’s even listed on travel sites such as Expedia.

Posted on January 18, 2018 at 10:24 pm
Laura Basset | Category: Architecture

LA prefab company builds modern granny flats

This is from an article in Curbed/LA dated October 13, 2017


As new state rules make it easier to add small in-law units, granny flats, and studios to the backyards of single-family homes, a new Los Angeles-based prefab company named Cover announced today that it has completed and installed its first such unit.

Located in the “northern hills of Los Angeles,” the unit measures 320 square feet and will serve as a music studio and office. It was entirely designed and built in LA.

Sleek and minimal, the studio features a few floor-to-ceiling windows and a wall of seamless built-in storage. Cover says its steel structures are “27 percent recycled and 100 percent recyclable.”

Design and installation took three months and cost $110,000, including building the foundation for the unit, which appears almost cantilevered over its jagged hillside seat.

Cover’s designs range from 100 to 1,200 square feet, and can include full kitchens and bathrooms. They are all designed to maximize natural light, feature radiant heating and cooling, and meet energy-efficient passive house standards.

Cover leans heavily on computer algorithms, so much so that it considers itself a tech company first. Cover claims it can draw up a floor plan to fit the property and local zoning codes in just three days.

A Cover spokesperson declined to say how many orders it has right now, but did say that about half are from Los Angeles.

LA-area clients won’t even have to wait long for the unit to arrive: Cover’s factory is located in Gardena.

Posted on October 13, 2017 at 5:37 pm
Laura Basset | Category: Architecture, Building

Brilliant Renovation of Silvertop Wows Event-goers!

Here we are at the Moonrise Silvertop tour. My friend Beverly introduced me to the founders of Modernism Week in Palm Springs, William Kopelk and Mark Davis.


We had an amazing time at the LA Conservancy’s Moonrise Silvertop tour. The Reiner-Burchill home aka Silvertop was designed by John Lautner.  The new owners of the home, Luke Woods and his wife, were at the event. I spoke with Mrs. Wood and she was thrilled with the house. I asked her which was her favorite room where she spent the most time and she said the bedroom. The master bedroom has a big stone mounted on the fireplace. The view from the bed is of the garden and the open sky. There are revolving shutters and windows to the right of the bed. With all of the wood and stone in the room, you feel a sense of calm and one with nature. Truly a special place.

My friend Beverly McGuire-Schnur, a former West Coast Editor of magazine House Beautiful was my date for the night. Her good friends, William Kopelk and Mark Davis, were there, too. These gentlemen founded Modernism Week in Palm Springs. Every year this event has brought architectural fans from all over the world.

We weren’t able to photograph any of the home at the event as it will be photographed for a special Wall Street Journal article in the near future. I spoke with Christina Binkley, the journalist who will be writing about the home, at the party. There have been only 3 owners of this home. I look forward to reading more about this amazing home. I’ll make sure to include the article when it comes out.

Silvertop bedroom

This is the master bedroom at Silvertop photographed when it was listed back in 2014, before the renovation.


I sought out the architect who managed the restoration, Barbara Bestor. She told me she had met Mr. Lautner when she was an architectural student. The challenge with renovating this unique property is that everything, and I mean everything, is custom-made. Lautner designed everything in the home right down to the light switches. So sometimes even changing a lightbulb can be an almost impossible challenge. Luke Woods and his family bought the property back in 2014. Barbara was hired to redo his offices at Beats by Dre initially. When Luke Woods bought Silvertop, she was brought in to work on the renovation. Check out this link to see how Barbara Bestor designed his company offices.

Posted on October 7, 2017 at 5:22 pm
Laura Basset | Category: Architecture

LA Conservancy’s Tour of Lautner’s Silvertop


The LA Conservancy Tour of Lautner’s Silvertop will be tomorrow night. The Reiner-Burchill Residence or as it is more commonly called Silvertop is to Los Angeles’ residential architecture as Eero Saarinen’s TWA Terminal is to New York City.  I will be one of the lucky few to tour this home. I had the privilege to tour the home when it was listed.  Silvertop truly is the jewel in the crown of Los Angeles architecture.

Neighbor and “Beats by Dre” President Luke Wood reportedly paid $8.55 for the famed home. Wood’s had recently used architect Barbara Bestor to build his own headquarters and enlisted her for this monumental project. Wood will be only the third owner to have lived in this home. It was commissioned in 1956 by the hairclip and aircraft-nut magnate named Kenneth Reiner. Reiner also was an inventor and tinkerer. The expense of building this home basically bankrupted Reiner. He was forced to sell the house before it was finished. Another neighbor, Philip and Jacklyn Burchill, stepped in and finished the home. I met Mrs. Burchill a few years back when she listed the property. She was very gracious in allowing us to tour her home.

Just a note, Silvertop officially sold for $8.55 million and was in escrow less than three weeks when it was listed. Buyers flew in from all over the world. I appreciate the “angels” as Judith Lautner called them. Those are the people who love art and architecture and buy a property with the intentions of restoring it to it’s former glory. It’s great that Luke Wood and his family have restored the property and plan on living in it.

I will let you know what I think of this renovation. I’m a member of the Lautner Foundation and recently spoke with Judith Lautner. If you want to learn more about John Lautner and his work, please go to this link.

Posted on October 4, 2017 at 7:23 pm
Laura Basset | Category: Architecture | Tagged , , , , , ,