The Laurelwood Apartments in Studio City are fairly unprepossessing from the street, marked only by the plain stucco walls of enclosed garage courts with low-key landscaping. But a peek up the central walkway reveals a sophisticated apartment complex of two terraced structures facing each other as they step up the gentle slope behind them.
Completed in 1949, the Laurelwood Apartments were the last apartments designed by master architect R. M. Schindler, and are one of the finest expressions of his ingenuity.
The International Style complex contains twenty two-bedroom units on a narrow lot, but thanks to Schindler's design each one feels like a private house, with its own entrance, unique views, and private outdoor space. First-floor units have private patios, while each second-floor unit has a terrace on the roof of the next unit down. The apartments are rather small, but they seem larger than they are because of their interior layout, which includes glass partitions between rooms.
The Laurelwood is one of the finest Modern expressions of the ubiquitous courtyard apartment complex to be found anywhere in Southern California. It is a fitting tribute to Schindler's talent for multi-family residential designs and is in a class with similarly-innovative designs like Gregory Ain's Dunsmuir Flats."