When he completed it in 1923, the Henry O. Bollman Residence in Los Angeles was Frank Lloyd Wright Jr’s second-ever solo commission – and the first surviving example of his innovative ‘knit-block’ or ‘textile block’ building technique.
During an era when many architects sought to establish a distinct ‘American’ aesthetic, Lloyd Wright grappled with this idea. He operated against the backdrop of early 20th-century ‘Hollywood’ style architecture, favouring mock Tudor, Craftsman, Neo-gothic, and ‘storybook’ elements influenced by the theatricality of the city’s movie lots and sets.
While his architectural style bore the imprint of his father’s ideas, Lloyd Wright also introduced his own interpretations and innovations. He believed in harmonising structures with their natural surroundings, using materials that complemented the environment.
Lloyd Wright was also captivated by the geometric patterns, intricate carvings, and monumental forms of Maya architecture. This unique property was built in a dramatic Mesoamerican style for developer Henry O Bollman. The dwelling boasts a temple-like facade adorned with a relief crafted from precast concrete blocks.
Located in the Sunset Square Historic District, the LA property celebrates its centennial and has a pedigreed ownership. Designer Mimi London is notable among them, having meticulously restored its interiors in the 1980-90s, including its elaborately decorated brick fireplaces, Maya-style ‘temple’ staircases, and mouldings.
Its present minimalist style allows its architectural features to truly shine.
At 2,518 sq ft and boasting four bedrooms, it’s also ‘one of the only properties by a giant of Los Angeles modernism currently on the market that isn’t just an architectural masterpiece, but also a fully functional, move-in-ready home,’ says agent Nate Cole of Modern California House, who is co-listing the property with Dalton Gomez of Christie’s International Real Estate for $3.2m.