This sprawling Lafayette mid-century was reportedly designed by Fred and Lois Langhorst who built an impressive reputation for themselves in the Bay Area architectural community despite the premature end of their practice here. Fred Langhorst was a student of Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesen and the influence of his time there remained strong even after working with William Wurster for a number of years. It was while working in Wurster’s office that he would meet his future wife Lois Wilson, and in the early 40s they would open an office together. Unfortunately, the office would close a mere eight years later and the Langhorst’s marriage would end shortly thereafter, but during the brief period of their collaboration some wonderful homes were designed and their office gave a start to a number of important Bay Region modernist designers including Roger Lee and Olof Dahlstrand.
The home we feature today is certainly strongly influenced by Wright with its low wood soffits and large masses of masonry. It was built in 1953, a few years after the Langhorsts closed up shop and moved to Europe which is somewhat unusual, but it is always possible that it could have been built from plans that were produced several years prior. Regardless of provenance however, it is a wonderfully considered home with many well-preserved period features.