Although it has only four rooms, this architecturally significant hotel conceived by John Lautner in Desert Hot Springs creates an impact on design that echoes around the world. Continuing with our series on Palm Springs mid-century modern hotels, Hotel Lautner has just been renovated and has recently reopened. Current owners have spent years on a complete structural rehabilitation and now guests can book a room in this modernism marvel.
Skyward facing clerestory windows opening on to private gardens, this combination of glass and steel beams make the hotel architecturally unique. The hotel was commissioned by the younger brother of Hollywood producer Lucien Hubbard (Wings, The Perils of Pauline) as a utopian desert retreat. During construction of the property, desert locals believed it to be some secret government project.
The roof of Hotel Lautner is supported by the steel I-beams and is made of gunite. John Lautner's decision to use concrete came after a sleepless night in a Palm Springs hotel. Palm Springs Life reports that Lautner stated in a 1982 interview, "I stayed in a typical motel. And it's very windy, and the buildings just rattle and scream - it's terrible. So I got the clue right away that for that environment I use steel and concrete."
In the spring of 2008, The John Lautner Desert Hot Springs structure was purchased by Los Angeles based interior designer Tracy Beckmann and furniture designer Ryan Trowbridge. The two made plans to create the ultimate desert compound, which would enclose a Lautner inspired clubhouse, outdoor lounge and pool. The goal was to have guests enjoy the ultimate in privacy while being shielded from the desert elements. Lautner's residences have long been documented and photographed but seldom open to the public.
Hotel Lautner is now accepting reservations providing an opportunity to experience an intimate Lautner design. This hotel allows long time admirers and future admirers to come the opportunity to "live" in a Lautner environment and to feel the unique experience of his design style. Reservations can be made on the hotel's website.
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