Bowler House | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo by Flora Chou/L.A. Conservancy
Photo by Flora Chou/L.A. Conservancy

Bowler House

The Bowler House, better known as the “Bird of Paradise” house for its exuberant turquoise roofline, is a landmark of expressive Mid-Century Modern design in Rancho Palos Verdes.

Industrial building contractor John Bowler commissioned famed architect Lloyd Wright (Frank Lloyd Wright, Jr.) to design a large home for his family.

Wright delivered a fanciful home that is anchored to both earth and sky, with an unusual and distinctive roof system.

The house, completed in 1963, is built of reinforced concrete and wood framing, with walls clad in stucco, concrete, and stone for a uniformly grounded feel. The steeply pitched roof starts low and soars skyward, extending the home’s interior space out onto covered terraces and balconies and boldly declaring its presence with a cladding of blue corrugated fiberglass.

The unusual roofing color and material blur the line between roof and sky, lightening the heavy lower walls and marking the home as a classic Lloyd Wright design that carefully considers landscape and siting. The home’s interior shows similar attention to detail, with Wright-designed built-in furniture, a yellow and green geometrically patterned living room screen, and an overall theme of angles and facets that mirror the house’s dramatic exterior. The Bowler House joins Wayfarers Chapel and the sadly departed Moore House as excellent examples of Wright’s innovative Mid-Century Modern designs in Rancho Palos Verdes.

Photo by Jessica Hodgdon/L.A. Conservancy

Waxman House

An adaptation to its steeply sloping lot, the Waxman House is more vertical than horizontal and reflects architect J. Barry Moffitt's own distinctive mark on the methods and materials of Modernism.
Photo by Larry Underhill

Scottish Rite Masonic Temple

The monumental Scottish Rite Masonic Temple on Wilshire, completed in 1961, was designed by artist, designer, and educator Millard Sheets.
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Sepulveda Rose

This understated post-and-beam apartment complex is a very graceful application of the Mid-Century Modern post-and-beam idiom to a large-scale building, and deserves notice among Dorman’s higher-profile works.