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Commercial Real Estate | FORM AND FUNCTION: Innovative
Uses of Southland Work Spaces

High Drama in a Small Office Space

November 17, 1998|MORRIS NEWMAN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Century City businessman James F. Goldstein decided some years ago that he disliked making the transition from his dramatic house in Benedict Canyon to a conventional, boxy office.

So he hired the architect who designed his house, John Lautner, to design his office as well.

The result is arguably one of the few office interiors that can be described as a work of art.

"A lot of folks who tell you that they don't like contemporary design come into my home or my office and seem to be very appreciative" of them, Goldstein said.

Lautner, who died in 1994, was a protege of Frank Lloyd Wright. Lautner abhorred rectangular spaces, and, accordingly, the Goldstein office is a fantasia of diagonal lines. Some walls are tilted, and the ceiling appears to be buckling under a tremendous load.

The office is rich in materials: the floor, coffee table and part of the wall are slate; the sculptural ceiling is wooden; and another part of the wall is a series of folded planes covered in copper.

Beyond its commanding view of the Hillcrest Country Club, the windows of Goldstein's office have another advantage: He can see his Lautner-designed canyon home faintly from his Lautner-designed office.

"There's just a golf course in between," Goldstein says with a grin.

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