Paul László

Paul László

Infobox Architect

name=Paul László
mother=Soros Regina
father=László Ignac
nationality=Hungarian, American
birth_date=birth date|1900|2|6
birth_place=Debrecen, Hungary
death_date=death date and age|1993|3|27|1900|2|6
death_place=Santa Monica, California
significant_buildings=Crown Center
Bullock's Wilshire
Air Force Bomb Shelter
Brentwood Country Club

Paul László or Paul Laszlo [The former spelling is the original Hungarian spelling, but the name is often Anglicized to the latter.] (6 February 190027 March 1993) was a Hungarian-born modern architect and interior designer whose work spanned eight decades and many countries. László built his reputation while designing interiors for houses, but in the 1960s, largely shifted his focus to the design of retail and commercial interiors.


He was born (as László Pál) in Debrecen, Hungary (then part of the Austro-Hungarian empire) to László Ignác and László (born Soros) Regina; his family later moved to Szombathely, Hungary. Sources citing his birthplace as Budapest are incorrect. He had three sisters and two brothers; two of his sisters and both of his parents died in the Holocaust along with seven other relatives not in his immediate family.

László completed his education in Vienna, Austria before moving to Stuttgart, Germany, where he rapidly established himself as a prominent designer, winning the admiration of, among others, Salvador Dalí. However, the rising tide of anti-semitism and Nazism made László's position precarious in Europe due to his Jewish ancestry. In 1936 he fled Europe for the United States to escape the Nazis. Ironically, without László's knowledge, some of his work appeared in Adolf Hitler's Eagle's Nest (the "Kehlsteinhaus") near Berchtesgaden which infuriated Albert Speer, chief architect of the Third Reich and close advisor to Hitler. This incident convinced László he had to leave his family, his practice and his friends because Europe was no longer safe for him. He applied for and accepted a professorship teaching architecture in Argentina. However, never intending to go to South America, László was hidden by friends of his until he was able to get passage on an oceanliner, which was not headed to South America, but rather New York City.

Arriving in New York City, he immediately bought an automobile, drove to Southern California and established an office in affluent Beverly Hills, California. László's reputation preceded him. He was popular with the wealthy political and acting elite, including such persons as Ronald Reagan, Gary Cooper, Cary Grant, Barry Goldwater, the Vanderbilts, Fritz Lang, Barbara Hutton, Ray Milland, Debbie Reynolds, Sonja Henie, Billy Wilder, John D. Hertz, Barbara Stanwyck, Henry Koster, William Perlberg, William Wyler, and Robert Taylor. Although he deeply loved his adopted Los Angeles, his work remained international in scope. His designs were opulent yet never over-stated; expensive and executed with impeccable taste. His projects left nothing to chance and he would design virtually all aspects including furniture, fabrics, drapes, rugs, lamps and other fixtures. He was notoriously intransigent in his design projects but with his own unique style, few complained because of the overwhelming impact of his completed projects. László personally preferred generously dimensioned furniture but for one client who was sensitive about his small stature, László designed all of the furnishings in slightly less than standard scale. László was delighted when the client later told him that the new house made him feel tall for the first time in his life. As he devoted more and more of his efforts to interiors, he seldom would accept architectural commissions. He was known for rejecting clients when he thought the relationship would be unsatisfactory to him. Most famously, he refused to design for Elizabeth Taylor in 1960 at the height of her celebrity, due to her demands for design input; later, he refused to design for Barbra Streisand for similar reasons.

In 1948, László joined with George Nelson, Charles Eames and Isamu Noguchi to design for the Herman Miller company. The furniture lines presented by Herman Miller from 1948 have been called the most influential groups of furniture ever manufactured. Nevertheless, László was not pleased with the arrangement and the relationship ended in 1952. For over 20 years, László maintained his design studio at 362 North Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. The studio also had a small area showcasing his work and helped him achieve even greater prominence. He designed department stores for Bullock's Wilshire, Goldwaters, Robinson's, Saks Fifth Avenue, Halls (Crown Center, Kansas City), Hudson's Bay and Ohrbach's. Also, he designed many of the casinos and showrooms in the Howard Hughes-owned hotels in Las Vegas. László achieved further fame with his elegant bomb shelter designed for the United States Air Force. As well, he conceived "Atomville" which was a futuristic underground city.

As evidence of László's long and highly regarded career, photographs, renderings and descriptions of his work appear in books and periodicals from every decade starting in the 1920s and are still being published in the 21st century. "Time" magazine (August 18, 1952) [,8816,816723,00.html] described him as "the Millionaire's Architect" in an article about László. He had an ability to combine colors which might seem irreconcilable, yet when seen as a whole, were incredibly warm and beautiful. It was this use of color along with the large scale but gentle and flowing lines to his designs and the integration of an entire project which made his work so memorable. His designs were uniformly simple, but never simplistic.

He served in both World Wars fighting with the Hungarian artillery at the Italian front in the first war. He enlisted in the United States Army and served domestically in the second.

Autobiographical information is available on László's life in the publication "Designing With Spirit," an oral history conducted by the University of California, Los Angeles. Also, László donated much of his original materials to the School of Architecture at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

His work is occasionally displayed at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and is frequently seen in national and international retrospectives on 20th-century design.

Personal life

Paul László was married twice and had one son (Peter Paul) with his second wife, the starlet Maxine Fife. He was also the uncle of world-champion bridge player Ivan Erdos. He was fluent in English, Hungarian, French, and German. One brother (Elemer) survives and now lives in Toronto, Canada.


External links

* [,8816,816723,00.html Time magazine : Rich Man's Architect, August 19 1952]
* [ Art & Antiques]

NAME = Laszlo, Paul
DATE OF BIRTH = 6 February 1900
PLACE OF BIRTH = Debrecen, Hungary
DATE OF DEATH = 27 March 1993
PLACE OF DEATH = Santa Monica, California

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См. также в других словарях:

  • Paul Laszlo — Paul László Pour les articles homonymes, voir Laszlo. Paul László Paul László ou Paul Laszlo dans sa forme anglicisée (6 février …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Paul Laszlo — Paul László (* 6. Februar 1900 in Debrecen; † 27. März 1993) war ein moderner Architekt und Innenarchitekt und gilt als eine Größe unter den Möbeldesignern, Innenarchitekten, und Architekten des 20. Jahrhunderts. László hat sich seinen Ruf als… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Paul László — (* 6. Februar 1900 in Debrecen, Ungarn; † 27. März 1993 in Santa Monica, Kalifornien) war ein moderner Architekt und Innenarchitekt und gilt als eine Größe unter den Möbeldesignern, Innenarchitekten, und Architekten des 20. Jahrhunderts. László… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Paul László — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Paul László (6 de febrero de 1900 27 de marzo de 1993) fue un arquitecto húngaro estadounidense moderno del siglo XX. Ganó su reputación como diseñador de interiores para viviendas en la década de los años 1960. Más… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Paul Laszlo — (o Paul László) 1900 1993 fue un arquitecto húngaro estadounidense moderno del siglo veinte …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Paul László — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Laszlo. Paul László Paul László ou Paul Laszlo dans sa forme anglicisée (6 février 1900 27 mars …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Laszlo — László ist ein ungarischer Vor und Nachname, eine Form des männlichen Vornamens Wladyslaw oder Ladislaus. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Bekannte Namensträger 1.1 Vorname 1.2 Familienname 1.3 Fiktive Personen // …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • László — ist ein häufig auftretender ungarischer männlicher Vor [1] sowie Familienname, die ungarische Form des männlichen Vornamens Wladyslaw[2] oder Ladislaus. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Bekannte Namensträger 1.1 Vorname …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • László — is a popular Hungarian given name pronounced [laːsloː] . Its main namedays are 27 June and 8 August. The most common short (diminutive, familiar) form of the name is Laci . The name might appear as surname as well.The name originates from Slavic… …   Wikipedia

  • Laszlo — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Laszlo ou László est un prénom et un nom de famille d origine hongroise. Il est notamment porté par : Patronyme Ervin Laszlo (né en 1932), philosophe …   Wikipédia en Français

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