Architecture & Urban Design

LA’s Al Struckus House

Adam Štěch

Historical architecture journalist Adam Štěch tracks down a forgotten artifact of modernism in Los Angeles

In 2006, architecture and design journalist Adam Štěch launched an ambitious project to document the best modernist architecture around the globe. Over 30 countries and more than a decade later, he shares his findings in a new book—and a special series of edited excerpts just for the Design Miami Forum.

In coordination with Design Miami/ 2020’s America(s) theme, Štěch spotlights historical modernist homes across the Americas, celebrating a diversity of perspectives as he considers how time and place played into each of these expressions. So far, Štěch has taken us to Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay. For the last story in the series, we visit Los Angeles.

 

Al Struckus House by Bruce Goff

USA, 1982

Entrance to Al Struckus House. Photo © Adam Štěch

With the Al Struckus House, master of organic architecture Bruce Goff left a powerful testament to his career. His last built project and his only private residence in California, it is at once playful and commanding, a magical union of space and form.

Inside Al Struckus House. Photos © Adam Štěch

One of the most original architects of his generation, Goff completed the project just before his death in 1982. Designed for aeronautical engineer Al Struckus, this family house in Woodland Hills is a tall, cylindrical structure that celebrates the innate beauty of the natural world—Goff’s main source of inspiration. From the outside, round futuristic windows resemble the eyes of an alien creature.

Inside Al Struckus House. Photo © Adam Štěch

Goff’s is one of few original, specifically American architecture styles, developed from the work of Frank Lloyd Wright and not based on European influences. His wild forms and unconventional use of materials create wonderfully imaginative architecture moments—a truly unique development in the evolution of the Modernist canon as it spread throughout the Americas. ◆

The facade of Al Struckus House. Photo © Adam Štěch

Adam Štěch’s new book, Modern Architecture and Interiors (Prestel), celebrates over 1000 modernist architectural gems from around the globe. It is available for purchase here.

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