A John Lautner-designed home that appeared in The Big Lebowski and hosted Rihanna’s last birthday party has become LACMA’s new prized possession.
Billionaire Jim Goldstein – best known for his NBA fanaticism – is gifting the 1963 Sheats-Goldstein residence in Beverly Hills to the museum, along with an installation by artist James Turrell and a separate building that houses offices and a nightclub. He has also thrown in a $17 million maintenance grant for the upkeep of the home.
‘I want the house to be an educational tool for young architects, and I want to inspire good architecture for Los Angeles,’ Goldstein told the LA Times.
The billionaire will still reside in the property but is allowing LACMA to host tours, fundraisers, exhibitions and conferences in the space.
He has continually worked on improving the property, even enlisting Lautner to oversee its revamp after buying the concrete house in 1972. It was during this spell that Lautner, a disciple of Frank Lloyd Wright, was able to fully realise his vision for the angular building.
‘It was never my goal to bring the house back to where it was originally, because it wasn’t perfect originally,’ added Goldstein. ‘My goal was to make it perfect.’
Much of the structure, besides the living room, was initially built with plaster and Formica. Lautner’s revamp involved updating the home’s material palette and replacing the original windows with large sheets of uninterrupted glass.
Goldstein has also gradually enveloped surrounding properties meaning the site now spreads across four acres of land – also included in the donation to LACMA.
Museum director and chief executive Michael Govan said: ‘For me it ranks as one of the most important houses in all of LA and as one of the most LA houses, because of its connection to the view, that long view toward the ocean.’
News of the donation coincides with Modernism Week in Palm Springs, where Lautner designed a home for comedian Bob Hope.