For architecture aficionados with means, California is a playground of mid-century houses by cult status modernist architects that are bought and sold like trophies in a lively real estate mini market. But for design connoisseurs without a Hollywood salary (Tom Ford lives in a Richard Neutra, Courtney Cox), an open house tour has previously been the only way to experience those crisp lines and walls of glass. Which makes checking-in at the new Hotel Lautner in Desert Hot Springs a rare opportunity to live – albeit temporarily – in an architectural landmark in the form of a signature residence designed by John Lautner.

Originally constructed in 1947 as a prototype for a master planned community in the desert, the Hotel Lautner was bought in 2007 by interior designer Tracy Beckmann and furniture designer Ryan Trowbridge, who undertook a meticulous and authentic refurbishment. Now open as four-suite boutique resort, Lautner’s original use of materials – concrete, steel, glass and acres of redwood – sparkle in the Californian sunshine. Quintessential mid-century furniture by the likes of Milo Baughman and Harry Bertoia completes the retro feel while contemporary additions include fire pits, kitchenettes in redwood and steel by Trowbridge’s furniture company Brown + Trowbridge, and the essential Frette bed linen. Just two hours from Los Angeles, the Hotel Lautner is an architectural oasis in the middle of the Californian desert.

“Our goal for the renovation was to remain as true to Lautner’s vision for the property as possible. The hotel needed to showcase the brilliance of Lautner’s architecture while embracing the needs of today’s discerning hotel traveler.”
- Tracy Beckmann, Interior designer and co-owner of Hotel Lautner

“I don’t believe the essence of Architecture has much to do with the techniques or styles or rationales of the moment. (Architecture occurs all thru the ages and still is Architecture.) I think we must more than ever seek and continually search for the real ideals and bases of Architecture – as Human Guides to wade through the morass of pressures to regiment – to expedite etc. The world’s richest nation should be able to produce a free – beautiful – Architecture for individuals – for people – to daily increase the Joy in life.”
- John Lautner

The Ultimate Hipster Experience: Coachella & Hotel Lautner

Coachella is the preferred music festival of American hipsters, which sees a large proportion of Williamsburg cool kids fly into to California to check out the latest bands and the festival’s infamous pool parties. Just 20km from the Hotel Lautner in the charming desert town of Indio, staying in the John Lautner-designed residence makes for the ultimate Coachella cachet.

Coachella 2012 takes place across two weekends, April 13-15 and April 20-22.