(Robin is pronounced “Roban” in French.)

Robin Poirier & Associates
General Contractor
robanconstruction @

When I was growing up, the Griffith Park Observatory was the building I saw everyday, across the canyon and up on its hill.

We would hike up there regularly to learn about the universe, and I always loved the Hugo Ballin murals that cover the ceiling of the main dome. (That's where the surveyor image comes from.)

I'm sure those murals helped shape my interest in design and architecture, which really took off the first time I stepped foot in John Lautner's Harvey House.

One Hallowe'en, when I was ten-years-old and trick-or-treating, my friends and I entered the main room to get our treats. I don't remember what they handed out, but my love for John Lautner's work was the best Hallowe'en treat I ever got.

Click here to see images of
some of my recent work.

Click here to see a job site in action.

HELENA: “The work I do is very specialized, and difficult to build. A good deal of my aesthetic derives, i suppose, from my long association with John Lautner, some 23 years, so if you know his work, you can imagine a bit of what I do. I build only one or two projects a year, and sometimes none at all, so for me, as for most architects, you really live to see the work built.

“I've known Robin for over 30 years, through his long association with John, as well. So I know what he's capable of. And I always recommend him to my clients, for his aesthetic sensitivity to my design. I know he'll do the work as it should be done. He is a real perfectionist. He takes real pride in his work. He loves a challenge. He loves one-of-a-kind projects, as Lautner's often were. He's conscientious and loves his work, and that is rare to find these days.

“I've seen other builders make choices that actually hurt the design, and sometimes I've even had to prevail on the client to have things redone to make it right. And of course, re-dos cost money. But Robin makes the right choices. And that's why I keep recommending him to my clients. I know he'll do the job right.”

ROBIN: I've been fortunate to work on twenty of
Mr. Lautner's projects—repairs, remodels, architectural restorations, and new construction. Including the restoration of the Harvey Residence, the first Lautner home I ever saw. Believe me, there's nothing better than that.

You can see images of our most recent collaboration (the Harvey House restoration, for Mitch Glazer and Kelly Lynch) by clicking here.

And learn more about Helena here:

Lautner Associates

BART: “I first met Robin on a home I designed for a client in Malibu. We were interviewing project managers for the construction of the home. I was impressed with how long he worked with John Lautner, and their Architect-Builder relationship.

“I was also impressed with his knowledge of Architectural History, particularly the ‘Organic Architects.’ He did not get chosen for the Project Manager job by the client initially, but he loved the project so much he became the Framing Subcontractor. When I came out to the site for a field observation of the progress of the construction i was overwhelmed. The quality of the workmanship from Robin and his carpentry crew was the finest I'd ever seen. His rough framing was like cabinet work. It's very basic construction knowledge that ‘the better the rough shell of the building, the better the finish work gets installed.’ This was certainly true on this home.

“Robin eventually became the Project Manager on this home. He managed all the trades, as well as his carpentry crew. He somehow found the time to personally work with his carpentry crew ‘hands-on,’ and not just manage them. He told me it was the only way he could guarantee the level of quality in the framing that the house deserved. This was no small feat considering the complexity of the design. He also improved the quality control and craftsmanship of all the trades when he became Project Manager. I have never seen a contractor who cares about the project as much as Robin does. I absolutely look forward to working with him again.”

ROBIN: You can see images of our most recent collaboration (the Malibu residence) by clicking here.

And learn more about Bart here:

Bart Prince & Associates

JIM: “The concept of value comes into play here. It's not always just about price, and who's cheaper than the other guy. Sometimes it's just nice to have an absolute perfectionist doing the job, because you know you'll be happy with the work. You know it'll be done right the first time, and you know you won't need somebody else to come in and fix a bad job. That's when using a cheap contractor gets really expensive.

“And when it's a truly difficult job, one that requires somebody who can think, and isn't afraid of unusual design—in fact, appreciates it—then you've got to go with somebody like Robin.

“The quality of the work is right at the top. He has a keen interest in architecture. And he has terrific skills in implementing the architectural plans. If you're doing anything special, anything you really care about, I'd very much suggest getting in touch with Robin.”

ROBIN: I had the great honor of working with John Lautner for 20 years, and it was a privilege to build one of Mr. Lautner's last designs, an office for James Goldstein.

Mr. Goldstein is the greatest client I ever built for. He wants the finest quality work available, period. His attention to the most minute detail is a nightmare for most contractors, but I welcome it. He knows what he wants. The office I built for him is the finest work I have ever done. Unfortunately, the office was dismantled when the lease was transferred, but it will soon be re-installed at LACMA.

You can see some images of the finished space by clicking here.    And read about it here:

LA Times article    John Lautner Foundation

Jim Goldstein's Web site

THE SMUTZES: “We had bought an old adobe house we wanted to restore, one of the only real adobes left in Los Angeles. The house had been built in 1939, and we fell in love with it. It has that wonderful quality from another era we wanted very much to save. It was in such terrible disrepair that four other contractors told us to just tear it down and start over. Robin was the fifth contractor we interviewed, and the first thing he said was, ‘It would be criminal to destroy this great home. Let's save it.’

“It was quite a job. The roof had to come off so the walls could be reinforced, plumbed, and wired. Specialists were used to maintain the authenticity of the style. And Robin wouldn't let anyone else hang the doors. He's a perfectionist that way.

“Robin did a beautiful job for us. He's thoroughly dedicated to high-quality performance. The proof came during the Northridge quake. There was a lot of shaking, some things fell down, but the house came through it with no problems. We'd recommend
Robin to anybody.”

ROBIN: Actually, I could see immediately why everyone had recommended tearing down this rare adobe house: it had been butchered by the previous owners and whoever they had gotten to work on it.

Fixing other people's mistakes is frustrating for owners, architects, and for me as well, but when we can save a building, and restore it to its original beauty and function, that's what it's all about.

home     gallery     on the job     résumé     contact