Michael Webb
writes on modern architecture, design, and travel. He is the author of 26 books, most recently Modernist Paradise: Niemeyer House, Boyd Collection (Rizzoli) and Venice CA: Art +Architecture in a Maverick Community (Abrams). He travels widely in search of new and classic modern architecture and contributes to magazines around the world. Michael lives in the Neutra apartment that Charles and Ray Eames once called home.

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The John Entenza House, renovated by Michael Folonis, FAIA
Too few potential clients have experienced the pleasure of living in a well-designed modern house—which is why so many cling to familiar historicist styles. The Case Study House Program was intended to create models for rational living and win over the uncommitted, but tract home builders offered the illusion of a customized product at a competitive price, easy financing and instant acceptance. Over the past 20 years, AIA/LA has showcased the latest work of its members in a succession of self-guided house tours and now it has added a new attraction: a monthly, architect-guided tour to an updated modern classic. These tours should demonstrate that good design is timeless, no matter how confined the space, and show how the frugality of the Great Depression and the post-war era can be subtly enriched to accommodate contemporary cravings.

Inglewood Duplex, renovated by Steven Ehrlich, FAIA
The series kicks off on September 23, when Michael Folonis will explain how he renovated the streamline house that Harwell Harris designed for John Entenza in Santa Monica Canyon. On October 7, a Schindler duplex in Inglewood will be shown by Steven Ehrlich, who brought it back from the edge of ruin. In November and December, the spotlight will swing to Silverlake, where Eric Haas will show one of Schindler’s Bubeshko Apartments, and Richard Corsini will present a unit of Gregory Ain’s Avenel Housing. No more than 100 people will be admitted to each property, and early subscribers can choose their preferred time for an architect-led group of 25. Tickets are priced at $25 for AIA/LA members, $35 for non-members and are selling briskly on-line here.

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