Sheats Goldstein Residence
Los Angeles, California
Funktion-One, MC2, BSS
Lighting / Visual Designer:
The Sheats Goldstein Residence has it all; high design, glamour and a wonderful history. This was Jackie Treehorn’s house in the Coen brothers’ cult classic, The Big Lebowski. Created by revered architect John Lautner and completed in 1963 for Helen and Paul Sheats, the house was bought by James Goldstein in 1972. Goldstein worked with Lautner from 1979 until the architect’s death in 1994, adding new details and updates in line with the original vision. Not only is it a triumph of mid-century design, it has both a colourful past and a meaningful future.
Sound Investment, Funktion-One’s distributor for North America, has been involved in the latest and most probably last stage of redevelopment of the property. That involvement has so far lasted seven years and it has resulted in a custom Funktion-One sound system being installed in one of the most famous houses in LA. The 150-capacity nightclub space is also home to a lighting system designed by the highly respected Steve Lieberman.
Before Lautner’s death, he sketched an ambitious plan of expanding the property and adding a guest house with a tennis court and a reception building. With sketch in hand, Goldstein sought an architect with the attributes necessary for realising Lautner’s vision. Former apprentice of John Lautner, Duncan Nicholson of Nicholson
Architects understood the design intent and was capable of bringing it to fruition. Nicholson worked closely with Lautner during the last seven years of his life. He was clearly the right person to continue the legacy.
It was Nicholson who subsequently contacted Sound Investment’s Dean McNaughton and appointed the company as sound consultants. With a neighbouring property purchased and removed, everything was in place for the latest chapter of the Sheats Goldstein Residence to be written.
The house is an example of American Organic Architecture, meaning it derives its form as an extension of the surrounding environment and from the people for whom it was built. Angular shapes and concrete structures contribute to its bold design signature. The new development continues this thread.
Sound Investment customised six Funktion-One Resolution 1.5TTs, a model that gained approval as much for its look – the axhead and silver finish – as it was for its audio output. In keeping with the meticulous detailing, even the supplied silver finish was changed to another shade of grey/silver to ensure it is exactly right. Further modifications were necessary to remove all the connectors and plugs from sight and to allow each box to be mounted as close as possible to the ceiling.
Six Funktion-One BR115 bass reflex speakers have been encased in concrete housings. Should they need to be accessed for maintenance, glass suckers cups are needed to assist with their removal. The system is powered by MC2 amplification and controlled via a BSS Soundweb network.
Earlier this year, the news broke that Goldstein has donated the property to LACMA – the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, meaning its legacy will live on forever.