Pierre Koenig used steel frame structures and industrial technology to generate his own architectural style. He believed that truth in architecture lies in the natural expression of materials without ornamentation. He approached architecture in terms of simplicity based on economy in terms of money spent and energy consumed. He used passive cooling and solar heating techniques to create energy efficient buildings.
May 9, 1960. A landmark image in the history of modern architecture: Julius Shulman’s nighttime shot of Ann Lightbody and Cynthia Murfee in Case Study House No. 22, the Stahl residence in the Hollywood Hills, overlooking Sunset Boulevard.
The house is “L” shaped in that the private and public sectors are completely separated save for a single hallway that connects the two wings. Compositionally adjacent is the swimming pool that one must cross in order to get into the house; it is not only a spatial division of public and private but its serves as the interstitial space that one must pass through in order to experience the panoramic views.
Pierre Koenig designed a small Midcentury Modern in West Hollywood in 1958. This home was part of Arts & Architecture magazine’s Case Study Houses Program—the 1945-1966 series that tasked architects with creating exceptional yet affordable homes.
Case Study House No. 21 is framed with large glass walls, the home’s lack of roof overhangs—an omission most responsible for the home’s studied sense of geometry—enhances its boxy shape. Over the glass walls hung sun- and heat-filtering screens, while water also figured prominently in the design, including serene reflecting pools surrounding the house for an unfussy but essential elemental quality.
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