Alternative Histories: Charles Holland Architects on John Lautner

Charles Holland Architects, John Lautner’s ground floor plan of a garden and semi-circular house for the artist Edgar Ewing, 2018. Rocks, origami paper, plastic, 400 × 200 × 200 mm.
John Lautner (1911–1994), Scheme for a semi-circular house raised on concrete piers for the artist Edgar Ewing on Mt Washington, Los Angeles, 1952. Print with colour wash and crayon, 520 × 770 mm. DMC 1838.

Strawberry Gothic Forever draws on a number of architectural fantasies. Primarily, it can be seen as an anglicised version of Lautner’s house for Edgar Ewing, a circular structure intended for the Los Angeles hills but now embedded in the chalk face of the North Downs. But it also contains other references: to Buckminster Fuller’s dreams of a lightweight geodesic architecture, to the nostalgic craft utopia of William Morris and to the high-tech fantasies of the 1960s avant garde.

Lastly, the model has an autobiographical quality, a collection of objects and reference points that we have drawn together and re-assembled in our own corner of the world.

– Charles Holland