Paul Laszlo (1900-1993): Bomb Shelters


Paul Laszlo was an interior designer and architect in Germany from the early 1920s until emigrating to the United States in 1936. He settled in Los Angeles and built a thriving business of interior design. After WWII, Laszlo worked with clients to design personal underground bomb shelters in the event of nuclear war. His interest in this particular topic might be traced to the loss of many of the buildings he designed in Germany during the War.


Paul Laszlo, interior designer/architect


Paul László papers, Architecture and Design Collection. Art, Design & Architecture Museum; University of California, Santa Barbara.


circa 1950s


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Collection Items

Paul Laszlo (1900-1993): Atomville
With Cold War hysteria growing, architects, engineers, and designers in the post-World War Two era created small bomb shelters for single families, as well as large-scale underground shelters for entire communities. The Atomville design was…

Paul Laszlo (1900-1993): Bomb Shelter
These drawings display the level of detail and engineering that was put into designing a bomb shelter for home (backyard) use. The specifications take into account any large-scale shockwaves that might hit the entrance and air vents above ground, and…

Paul Laszlo (1900-1993): Hertz bomb shelter
Rental car company founder John Hertz commissioned Laszlo to build a bomb shelter in the backyard of his Woodland Hills, Calif. ranch, due to Hertz' concern over a possible nuclear attack on the Los Angeles area. Laszlo spent years designing the…
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