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Location: Balboa Island, Calif.
The Skinny: John Lautner's Rawlins House—or "Jaws", as it is known among the Balboa Island natives—has recently hit the market with an asking price of $5.895M. The uncharacteristically urban location presented a design challenge to Lautner, whose aversion to city life has been well-documented. To make the most of the narrow lot he had on which to build the home, the legendary architect, beloved by everyone from Gwyneth Paltrow to Bob Hope, opened it up to the ocean, creating a 30-foot-wide retractable glass façade to allow sea breezes and sunlight to fill the wall-less lower level. He also designed the upper lever, which floats on steel beams, with gaps between the floor and walls so that ambient sunlight can reach the home's living spaces. The three-bedroom, two-bathroom, 2,100-square-foot home, which was completed in 1979, has undergone a recent respectful renovation, with the original Douglas fir ceilings, ceramic tile floors, and copper facing all preserved. It was briefly on the market last year for $4.495M, which represents a reverse PriceChop of $1.4M.