Lukens House and Studio
Los Angeles, CA
2012 M2A received preservation awards from the Los Angeles Business
Council and the California Preservation Foundation for the restoration
and adaptive reuse of the Lukens House.
The Lukens House, a one-story International style residence
constructed in 1940, was designed by Raphael Soriano a modernist
architect who employed a novel approach to planning, design,
construction, materials and indoor/ outdoor space relationships.
It is one of twelve remaining examples of his residential work.
Glen Lukens, a noted ceramic artist and educator, invited his
student to the house, and to meet the architect. The experience
was instrumental in the decision of Frank Gehry to pursue a
career in architecture.
The Lukens house was exceptionally deteriorated, saved from
demolition as a public nuisance thru its nomination as an Historic
Monument by the West Adams Historic Association and the Los
Angeles Conservancy Modernism Committee. After removal of 8
dumpsters of debris, the remaining fabric of materials and details
were documented. The architect and owner researched Soriano’s
published and completed work and reviewed the original drawings.
The original design was for a two bedroom residence and studio
with a minimal kitchen and a room for “help”. All
the built-in furniture in the Living Room and Study were long
gone. The original Work Room was expanded by Lukens, removing
the sand-blasted panels to the deck. The emphasis of the rehabilitation
was to restore what remained on all the primary spaces, replace
what was missing in original details and, where available, materials.
After understanding the house, the owner and architect set out
to make modifications to the secondary spaces to accommodate
a contemporary lifestyle while remaining true to the design
aesthetic and detailing of Soriano’s original simple planar