Glen Lukens House and Studio
Los Angeles, CA

In 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 volumes/surfaces.