The Dan Stevens Malibu Residence — A John Lautner Oceanside Modernist Miracle

Inspired by the ocean it faces, maverick modernist architect architect John Lautner created the Dan Stevens’ house with its curved shell to resemble a wave, while the interior structure evokes a nautical, boat-like ambience in each room.

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Stevens House, Colony Drive
Architect: John Lautner – 1968
Location: Malibu, CA

Lautner’s 1968 Stevens Residence in Malibu California is built upon concrete and situated surrounded by sand with views of the ocean and Santa Monica Mountains. The Stevens house was the first house that Lautner built in Malibu and defined the types of houses to be built thereafter.

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Dan Stevens interviewed a number of famous architects to design a 5 bedroom 5 bathroom house with a pool on a 90′ X 37′ lot. Each of them said it was impossible. So, He called John Lautner.

Lautner accomplished all of Stevens’ requirements by designing a structure utilizing 14 I-steel beams that in turn support two half catenary curves in reverse positions to become concrete wall, roof, and ceiling… in one. The house unifies sculpture with architecture and resembles two waves on the exterior. The interior of the house is composed of concrete with cedar planking throughout. The house also utilizes giant custom glass and douglas fir sliding doors that open completely to bring the ocean air directly into the house.

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Reverence for Lautner and the Stevens House resulted in a restoration bridging the past to the present. The restoration included carefully selecting and replacing all cedar planking, restoring concrete that had been painted, bringing back the originally designed but never fully implemented lofts for each of the kids rooms, recreating the original tile, as well as enhancing the house’s sustainability by utilizing cork flooring and converting the house to solar energy. Lautner’s intent was to create a low maintenance and well-built house. In an effort to maintain the Stevens House’s integrity, California Historic Cultural Landmark status was granted in 2010.

If it’s your taste — as it is mine — the home went on market for $22 million in 2013. Now where did I stick that 22 mill?…

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