written by:
April 7, 2015
We've pulled together a "who's who" list of California homes, originally designed by Richard Neutra, Pierre Koenig, Frederick Monhoff, A. Quincy Jones, Joseph Eichler, and John Lautner, that were carefully restored to their midcentury modern perfection.
Neutra renovation Los Angeles

For Los Angeles–based architect Peter Grueneisen, founder and principal of Nonzero Architecture, the renovation of Richard Neutra’s 1949 Freedman House in Pacific Palisades was a daunting task. “Being aware of the responsibility that comes with changing an iconic house by one of the great masters, we nonetheless felt comfortable with the task,” says Grueneisen. 

Courtesy of 
Julius Shulman and Juergen Nogai/Nonzero Architecture
Originally appeared in A Neutra Renovation in Los Angeles
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Neutra renovation Los Angeles

The biggest change to Neutra’s design is the addition of a second level, which now affords the homeowners an unobstructed view of the Pacific Ocean. "The second floor achieves a dynamic on its own, with large window bands and roof overhangs with detailing emulated from the original," says architect Grueneisen. "But despite the significant change in the massing, we believe the final composition results in an integrated and seamless sense of continuity between the different generations of the building."

Courtesy of 
Julius Shulman and Juergen Nogai/Nonzero Architecture
Originally appeared in A Neutra Renovation in Los Angeles
2 / 13
Frederick Monhoff Midcentury Modern Renovation Santa Monica California

Midcentury architect Frederick Monhoff originally designed this Santa Monica home. Over the years, multiple renovations have expanded the home’s original 1,200-square-foot floor plan—including a garage addition in 1952 and an extension of the main house in 1964. 

Courtesy of 
Chang Kyun Kim
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Dwell on Design Los Angeles West Side Home Tour 2015 Monhoff Renovation Vukadinovich Residence Venice Beach California

Synthesis, Inc. took on the most recent update of Monhoff's midcentury design, seamlessly adding two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a den, plus undertaking an expansion and renovation of the kitchen and living area.

Courtesy of 
Chang Kyun Kim
Originally appeared in A Sneak Peek Inside the Homes of Dwell on Design Los Angeles 2015
4 / 13
Frederick Monhoff Midcentury Modern Renovation Santa Monica California

To open the interior space, existing windows were replaced with floor-to-ceiling glass and folding doors.

Courtesy of 
Chang Kyun Kim
5 / 13
 Dwell on Design Los Angeles South Bay Home Tour 2015 Midcentury Architect Pierre Koenig Renovation Robert Sweet Henbest House Rancho Palos Verdes California

The iconic midcentury architect Pierre Koenig, who masterminded Case Study houses #21 and #22, designed the Henbest house in 1966. In 2013, Robert Sweet completed a historically sensitive renovation of the Rancho Palos Verdes structure, repairing the dilapidated perimeter wall and wrapping it in ipe wood siding. At the request of the homeowners, Sweet installed a new swimming pool—inspired by Koenig’s original site plan, although never realized—to replace a koi pond and pergola that were added after the original house was constructed. 

Courtesy of 
Chang Kyun Kim
Originally appeared in A Sneak Peek Inside the Homes of Dwell on Design Los Angeles 2015
6 / 13
Pierre Koenig Midcentury Modern Renovation Rancho Palos Verdes California Robert Sweet Architect

Inside, Sweet removed walls to improve internal circulation and to reveal views of the Pacific Ocean. “When completely open, the house becomes a pavilion, truly blurring the indoor-outdoor boundary that exemplifies California modern,” Sweet says.

Courtesy of 
Chang Kyun Kim
7 / 13
modern dwellings kalmic house quincy jones living room sofa wool rug

Architect Cory Buckner can easily be touted as the Los Angeles expert on A. Quincy Jones architecture, including his utopian Crestwood Hills project, which sits high above Brentwood in the Santa Monica Mountains. After all, Buckner renovated The Kalmick House, in addition to multiple others and has written a book on the postwar community. 

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Originally appeared in A Midcentury Home Keeps the History Alive
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modern dwellings kalmic house quincy jones dining area cinder block fireplace

Built in the 1950s, the dining area features a distinctive cinder block fireplace that extends to the outdoor concrete terrace, an area that can be seen in a set of plans for the house, signed by the original architect A. Quincy Jones and dated 1949, that were found by the new owners in the carport. 

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Originally appeared in A Midcentury Home Keeps the History Alive
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the exterior of a renovated Eichler home at night

Originally designed by the great Joseph Eichler, this San Rafael, California home was in need of an update. Remaining true to the home’s original floorplan, Stephen Shoup, of building Lab, chose to focus on the connection between spaces in the house by adding a floor-to-ceiling window in the dining area with a full view of the backyard. To allow the homeowners privacy, he also added a five-foot-high Eichler Breckenridge Thinline fence around the property.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in A Renovated Eichler Home in San Rafael, California
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a view of the renovated Eichler from the far corner of the backyard by night

Day or night, the simplicity and clarity of Eichler’s vision can still be seen from most angles of the home. 

Photo by 
Originally appeared in A Renovated Eichler Home in San Rafael, California
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Exterior of Hotel Lautner with butterfly chairs

This Desert Hot Springs, California complex, designed by John Lautner in 1947, was originally built as the starting point of a 600-acre residential community that never came to be. When the owners, two Los Angeles designers, found the property, all four bunker-like spaces were rotted with water and termite damage. But with a lot of love and a vision to restore this desert rose to its midcentury modern glory, Tracy Beckmann and Ryan Trowbridge created a boutique hotel for every-day vacationers and Lautner fans alike.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in A John Lautner-Designed Hotel
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Hotel Lautner bedroom

Among Hotel Lautner’s first visitors were the master architect’s daughters, Judith Lautner and Karol Lautner Peterson, who told Beckmann, “Our father would be proud.” 

Photo by 
Originally appeared in A John Lautner-Designed Hotel
13 / 13
Neutra renovation Los Angeles

For Los Angeles–based architect Peter Grueneisen, founder and principal of Nonzero Architecture, the renovation of Richard Neutra’s 1949 Freedman House in Pacific Palisades was a daunting task. “Being aware of the responsibility that comes with changing an iconic house by one of the great masters, we nonetheless felt comfortable with the task,” says Grueneisen. 

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