The Tatum Beach House
William Turnbull Jr., FAIA
First Offering: Of the many reasons this ingenious structure won Architectural Record’s Record House of the Year, perhaps the most important in terms of its gifts to living is its consciously elemental nature. The honesty of simple raw construction materials, now weathered like driftwood, and its glassy openness, enhance the occupant’s direct connection to the powerful natural forces and elements of the beach environment. To quote Donlyn Lyndon in Buildings in the Landscape: “Bill’s approach to the landscape was not one of emulation, but of cultivation. The land, the family, the acts of building, the joys of inhabiting, all merged in Bill’s mind into homes for the imagination. They are buildings that honor human presence in the land.”
A gated private drive curves down through the Coastal Forest to the Tatum House, one of just 17 houses on exclusive Potbelly Beach. Owners are members of the Potbelly Beach Club; a co-operative organized to maintain and protect this rare beach environment. The land is owned collectively.
Designed for Frank and Barbara Tatum as a vacation home to sleep twelve, Turnbull combined the private spaces, kitchen and dining room in a three-story spine facing the shore, with the living room and staircases “saddle-bagged” in front. All principal rooms afford ocean views. The program incorporates open-plan living, dining, reading/sleeping alcove, bath, storage, and laundry on the entry level, with the upper two floors each having 2 bedrooms and a bath. The bedrooms open to a dramatic light-filled double staircase enclosure that also serves as a library.
Significant Architecture Sold
Lovell Health House, 1929
Richard Neutra, Architect
Los Angeles County Museum of Art Guide number D3,6. Listed: National Register of Historic Places. City of Los Angeles Cultural Historic Monument # 123. In their seminal Guide, historians David Gebhard and Robert Winter state: "Without question, this house together with Schindler's Lovell Beach House in Newport Beach are the greatest monuments of the International style in Southern California. The Lovell House firmly established Neutra's world reputation. "
The John Kelsey Residence, 1962
Ladd & Kelsey, Architects
Conceived for his own family of five, this project stands as a manifesto of his distinct design sensibility. An unapologetic fan of Mies Van der Rohe, Kelsey was sold on the universality of that master's discipline. On Chateau Road he combines skillfully planning rigor of Germanic descent with openness to the site's lush landscape.
The Miltimore Residence, 1911
Irving Gill, Architect
First offering since 1952. Designed in 1911 for Mrs. Paul Miltimore, this house is considered the most significant surviving residence by architect Irving Gill in Southern California.” The residence, #11 on South Pasadena’s Register of Cultural Heritage Landmarks, is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Online Archive of California, University of California.
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