|Hotel Lautner, Desert Hot Springs, Calif.|
Excerpted from the February 2012 Los Feliz Ledger:
Always a challenge, restoring a neglected older property is almost always also a labor of love. Furniture designer Ryan Trowbridge of Los Feliz and his partner interior designer Tracy Beckmann recently completed an extraordinary restoration and thoughtful renovation on a hillside street in Desert Hot Springs.
In 2008, the pair purchased the four-room, 1947-built hotel designed by architect John Lautner—of Silver Lake’s Silver Top. Originally the hotel was to be at the gateway to a 600-acre development. In 1947, Lautner was fresh off his fellowship at Taliesin West under the tutelage of architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The hotel’s design echoes Taliesin’s primitive tents where light, the desert sky and the rugged environment are embraced.
|Patio view, Hotel Lautner, Desert Hot Springs, Calif.|
Constructed of redwood, glass, concrete and steel, the building’s steel framing cantilevers out, creating a wing-shaped overhang that shades each room. Although the rooms are compact in size, there’s an incredible feeling of expansiveness due to the 180-degree view through a glass wall. Each room opens to a private patio and cactus garden. Lautner was known for his sympathetic way of incorporating the natural world into his buildings.
Purchasing the property took some time due to its uniqueness and its location in a tract home neighborhood. When Trowbridge and Beckmann first saw it, the entire building—including all the redwood—was painted solid white. There have been some additions: bathrooms have been redone in Heath Ceramic tile, three units have restored kitchenettes, one has a full kitchen and furniture is now of-the-period vintage finds.
Among Beckmann’s projects is the hotel at the LA Athletic Club and Mas Malo restaurant downtown. Trowbridge, in addition to his furniture and light constructions, is a partner at Bar 107 in downtown Los Angeles.
Hotel Lautner is now open for overnight stays.
67710 San Antonio St.
Desert Hot Springs, Calif. 92240