Home Tours Q&A with architect Michael Lehrer, FAIA
Last Updated: April 19, 2012
Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Important Note about Tickets:
- **Online ticket sales will close at 12:00 noon on Sat 5/5. **
- Tickets purchased online after Wed 5/2 will not be mailed and will be available for pick-up at Will Call, which is located at Home A on the tour.
- **The Address for Will Call / Home A is: 16555 Las Casas Place, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272. **
- Will Call will be open from 11 AM - 1 PM (tour goes on until 4 PM).
- Please visit us at Will Call on Sun 5/6 if you did not receive all of your tickets in the mail or if you wish to purchase additional tickets after online registration closes.
Home Tours Q&A with architect Michael Lehrer, FAIA, presented by Gruen Associates
AIA Los Angeles recently touched base with spring 2012 Home Tours architect, Michael Lehrer, FAIA, designer of the Mandeville Canyon Hilltop.
- For more information on the Home Tours, "Palisades to Brentwood," visit the webpage.
In the Q&A he answers questions on his inspiration in designing the home, his design guides and what he thinks about the difference between the Palisades and Brentwood.
How did the environment where the home was built influence the design? The house and garden are located on a knoll in the heart of Mandeville Canyon. There are almost 360 degree views and garden opportunities. When I first started working on the existing house, it was very disconnected from most of the gardens. Today, the house-doors open-is a pavilion in the middle of many gardens. The environment here was critical...but it always is. View, light, indoor/outdoor spatial flow and living and orientation vis a vis sun and air are absolutely shaped by the site.
What is your favorite feature of the home?
Since this house is really an assemblage of architectural objects over time, my favorite "part" of the house is how these sort-of-separate parts all fit together. They are loose and coherent, one ensemble with distinct parts. Being in the living room and looking through the (most recent) dining room/terrace addition gives a strong sense of the particular Mandeville Canyon genius loci. The owner has a stunning photography collection that really animates the house in incredibly rich and simple ways.
As an architect, how much of your personal touch do you put in each building you design? How do you move on from one project to the next? Its all personal, EVEN WHEN YOU ARE PLAYING IT STRAIGHT DOING YOUR BEST TO SOLVE PROBLEMS EXPERTLY, without prejudice. My priorities of hyper function, spatial clarity, massive bang-for-the-buck, massive light and seamless indoor/outdoor living are "personal" values. Another personal value is making places that aggressively make people happy.
This Home Tour theme is "Palisades to Brentwood," from a design point of you, can you discuss the differences between Palisades living and Brentwood? If there are any...
Having just completed a home in a Palisades' Rustic Canyon (which incidentally came to me from an early-many additions ago-Venice Art Walk Architecture Tour of this project), I think the defining difference between Mandeville and Rustic Canyon is light. Mandeville is more open, dryer, and brighter. Rustic and Santa Monica Canyon are more community oriented, with schools, playgrounds, public community buildings, tennis courts, etc. Saying it is more "urban" is a stretch, but if you consider Palisades Village, probably on the mark.
About LEHRERARCHITECTS LA, Inc.
Michael B. Lehrer, FAIA, founded Lehrer Architects (LA) in his native district of Los Feliz in Los Angeles as a Sole Proprietorship, in 1985. 26 years later, the business, now a California corporation, is still thriving in the award-winning office space at 2140 Hyperion Avenue. The professional staff members at LA have extensive experience in designing, managing, master planning and working with community and cultural organizations on projects throughout Los Angeles and beyond. As such, the firm, its people, and their experiences are all very much rooted in the various neighborhoods and their communities.
Lehrer Architects' approach to design grows out of a deep love and respect for the community and unwavering focus on its improvement. Michael Lehrer has developed a unique relationship of an architect's communal role: a leader, using design to improve quality of space and quality of life.
Whether the projects are commercial, residential, or institutional, public or private, LA's practice focuses on the making of home and community - from individual to family to neighborhood to city creating places that sanctify the rituals of life.