The Elrod House designed by John Lautner
This home is unique in many ways - the ultra modern design, the setting looking over Palm Springs and the fact that it was used in the 1971 James Bond movie Diamonds Are Forever - you know the one with Sean Connery where he scales the walls to the top floor to confront Whyte the reclusive billionaire owner of the casino hotel. Do you remember the fight scene in and around the pool with Bambi and Thumper and James Bond? In my opinion, however, the thing that makes this home an architectural stand out is it's designer and his vision.
The architect John Lautner was an apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright which is evident in Lautner's style of having the home communicate with and be in harmony with the landscape. This style of organic architecture is seen in many of Lautner's designs such as The Chemosphere and Arango Residence. Like Wright, Lautner's designs shows a strong involvement with geometric forms — the circle being evident in this home.
In the Elrod House Lautner designed the domed roof as a shield from the hot desert sun and it fans out in nine petals as can be seen in the photo above. The house is constructed of reinforced concrete, very dramatic and very modern. The roof is curved, as are the walls. The curved glass walls open and shut like curtains to reveal the sweeping panoramic view of Mount San Jacinto, Mount San Gorgonio and the valley in which it is located. The local rock of the ridge the house is built on has been incorporated into the home's interior and exterior. The main living area has a large natural rock outcrop at the edge of the room integrating the house into its location and adding to the feeling of a flow between indoor and outdoor spaces.
In the Bond movie the Elrod House was Willard Whyte's winter retreat. It definately fits into the world of James Bond where everything is dramatic, state of the art and luxurious. Just some of the features include:
The home was last sold for US$5,500,000.00 in 2003 and is currently being offered for US$13,890,000 by Expoint Realty.