Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times
Homeowner Jon Platt, left, sits with architect Frank Gehry during a recent party at the house. Preserving the integrity of the Schnabel House, built between 1986 and 1989, is also preserving what amounts to a time capsule of an important era in Gehry's evolving career. "The design is one I had fantasized about for my own house," Gehry said. "I had wanted to build it for myself, but I didn't have the money."
For Platt, the house holds a different kind of allure. It's theatrical. The play of fantasy and illusion, of perspective and perception — walk through the front gate and it's hard to deny. But updating the home's technology wasn't easy. Something as simple as a wireless Internet signal proved to be a challenge given all the copper, lead and concrete. "We now use something from Cisco Systems that they also use at the CIA headquarters in Langley, Va.," Platt said.