Barrel-Chested

John Lautner’s spiraling Foster House is for sale

Exterior of the Foster House (Juwan Li/Courtesy of Compass)

Homes designed by the Frank Lloyd Wright-tutored West Coast architect John Lautner don’t usually stay on the market for long. Their seductive layouts, extravagant material palettes, and sweeping views have historically made them the subjects of bidding wars and ownerships lasting more than one lifetime. One of the architect’s homes, however, has been on the market for nearly three months and has even been subject to a price reduction.

The Foster House, Lautner’s smallest home at a modest 1,016 square feet, is currently on sale for the first time since it was constructed for a schoolteacher in 1950. The home sits on a sharp corner in the quiet suburb of Sherman Oaks, California, a far cry from the trendy hills of Silver Lake where the majority of the architect’s work can be found. The features of the modest home can easily be listed in full: the ground floor is an open-air carport and features an unprogrammed room with an adjoining bathroom and a sloped lawn shaded by eucalyptus trees, while the second floor contains an updated kitchen with a foldaway table, a bedroom, a bathroom, a closet, a main room, and a balcony separated by a wall of glass.

Interior of a round room

The main room of the Foster House. (Juwan Li/Courtesy of Compass)

With its roots in the treehouse building type, the Foster House will likely find an owner (or owners, if they are petite) more interested in novelty than pragmatism. While it may be impractically small for some, the radial redwood-beamed ceiling and loads of built-in furniture pieces make it as charming as any other home the architect has designed. The Foster House is currently on sale for $1.45 million after first being put on the market in June for $1.6 million.

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