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Stahl House (Case Study House #22)

Pierre Koenig | Website | 1960 | Visitor Information

1635 Woods Drive , West Hollywood 90069, United States of America

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The Stahl House by Pierre Koenig (also known as Case Study House #22) was part of the Case Study House Program, which produced some of the most iconic architectural projects of the 20th Century. The modern residence overlooks Los Angeles from the Hollywood Hills. It was completed in 1959 for Buck Stahl and his family. Stahl envisioned a modernist glass and steel constructed house that offered panoramic views of Los Angeles when he originally purchased the land for the house in 1954 for $13,500. When excavation began, he originally took on the duties of both architect and contractor. It was not until 1957 that Stahl hired Pierre Koenig to take over the design of the family’s residence. The two-bedroom, 2,200 square foot residence is a true testament to modernist architecture and the Case Study House Program. The program was set in place by John Entenza and sponsored by the Arts & Architecture magazine. The aim of the program was to introduce modernist principles into residential architecture, not only to advance the aesthetic but to introduce new ways of life, both stylistically and as a representation of modern lifestyle. Koenig was able to hone in on the vision of Buck Stahl and transform that vision into a modernist icon. The glass and steel construction is the most identifiable trait of the house’s architectural modernism, however, way in which Koenig organized the spatial layout of the house, taking both public and private aspects into great consideration, is also notable. As much as architectural modernism is associated with the materials and methods of construction, the juxtaposition of program and organization are important design principles that evoke utilitarian characteristics. The house is “L”-shaped, completely separating the public and private sections except for a single hallway connecting them. The adjacent swimming pool, which must be crossed to enter the house, is not only a spatial division of public and private but it serves as the interstitial space in which visitors can best experience the panoramic views. The living space of the house is behind the pool and is the only part of the house that has a solid wall, which backs up to the carport and the street. The entire house is one large viewing box, capturing amazing perspectives of the house, the landscape, and Los Angeles. Oddly enough, the Stahl house was fairly unknown and unrecognized for its advancement of modern American residential architecture until 1960 when photographer Julius Shulman captured the pure architectural essence of the house in a shot of two women sitting in the living room overlooking the bright lights of the city of Los Angeles. That photo put the Stahl House on the architectural radar as an architectural gem hidden in the Hollywood Hills. The Stahl House is still one of the most visited and admired buildings today. It has undergone many interior transformations. Today, you will not find the same iconic 1960s furniture inside, but the architecture, the view, and the experience still remain.

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A Virtual Look Into Pierre Koenig's Case Study House #22, The Stahl House

  • Written by Madlaina Kalunder and David Tran, Archilogic
  • Published on November 30, 2015

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Without a doubt, it’s among the most famous houses in Los Angeles . The house is easy to describe: a steel framed L-plan, divided into bedrooms and the communal living spaces, all wrapped around a turquoise pool seemingly impossibly poised above the city. But words don’t do it justice. Julius Shulman ’s 1960 photograph of Pierre Koenig ’s Case Study House 22, perhaps better known as Stahl House, changed the fantasies of a generation.

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Shulman’s photograph of, or rather through, Stahl House made plate glass and steel girders, materials normally too industrial to be accepted by home owners, seem glamorous. It was magazine genius: a vouyeristic image of two women in a glass lined room, suspended above the lights of Los Angeles , seen from outside the glass, the ambiguous perspective of either a guest leaving late, or an intruder arriving unannounced—whatever you wanted it to be. Shulman’s notorious photo is more subtle than it first appears. The architecture is not so much shown as hinted at by the geometric underside of the roof, and the city is brought closer by the careful double exposure and the reflected image of the ceiling lamp that appears like a double moon inside and outside the house. Shulman’s genius was that he understood architectural photography first and foremost in terms of film, and not least Hollywood, the dream factory down the road. Where other photographers took static descriptive images of entire houses, Shulman made film stills, frozen moments from places you wished you lived in. When printed in John Entenza’s influential Californian magazine Arts and Architecture , Shulman’s photographs worked like an intoxicant on a generation of post-war architects.

The official agenda of Entenza’s Case Study House program was to reimagine the typical family dwelling using postwar materials and technology. They were meant to be affordable, and replicable, houses for a confident democratic society. But the irony is that almost all of the case study houses were one-offs, modernist gems that were never replicated. Instead of using the best of postwar technology, the building industry used the booming market to cover America in suburban tract housing built by a deunionised and deskilled workforce. Wooden frames proved cheaper than steel, and required less skill to manage. The Stahl House represents an alternative history, a custom built precision architecture that everyone wanted but few ended up getting.

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The Stahl house itself was a classic American story, a house built as much by sheer force of will as from the application of contemporary technology. The site was believed to be too steep to build upon, so the owner, C H “Buck“ Stahl, a retired professional football player, heaped up the terraces supporting the structure more or less by hand, and made models of a curving, glass walled home over a year before finding an architect with the courage to take the commission. Pierre Koenig rationalized Stahl’s original plans, but recently rediscovered photographs of the early models suggest that this is one of those cases where the client deserves credit as a co-designer.

Paradoxically, for the most glamorous house in America, it’s all about family. From the street, there’s almost nothing visible. The house presents a blank wall. The schism between privacy and view could not be more extreme. The 3D model from Archilogic shows the strong shift in atmosphere between the photogenic public spaces and the rarely photographed bedrooms, which are clearly designed to offer a feeling of enclosure, and security, in spite of the steep drop only a short distance away.

Although on July 24, 2013, a half a century after completion, the Stahl House was listed in the National Register of Historic Places, finally affording it the recognition it deserved, there’s still a strange split between the postwar houses of figures like Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson , and the case study houses of the Eameses , or Pierre Koenig . Whereas Mies and Johnson were drawing on an architecture that went back as far as ancient Greece, and they knew it, the Eameses breezily rejected the weight of tradition. Koenig is a more ambiguous figure. He built, and he taught, for most of his life. He was fascinated by the properties of steel, and he did idealistically motivated work—notably with the Chemehuevi indians when he taught at USC—but nothing ever brought him the fame and recognition of the magazine friendly pieces from early in his career.

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So how much does it cost to live in a modernist masterpiece?

Well, Buck Stahl paid the outrageous sum (for the 1950s) of $13,500 for the land, and another $37,651 for the house and pool. At the time of writing, Zillow estimates the value of the house as $2,531,800 (or between 2.23 million and 3.11 million), Trulia’s algorithms estimate its value slightly lower than average for a Hollywood property, at $2,237,000, and Realtor guesses $2,042,328. The real value of the house is almost certainly higher, much higher. A story in the Los Angeles Times (June 27, 2009) reported that Stahl’s widow, Carlotta, and their three children turned down offers as high as $15 million for the house since Buck passed away, but whatever the offer was, the family didn’t sell, so the house is effectively priceless. That’s quite a premium for great architecture.

Don't miss Archilogic's previous models shared on ArchDaily, including Pierre Koenig's other Case Study House #21 , The Eames Case Study House #8 and Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House and Barcelona Pavilion .

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Pierre Koenig虚拟现实住宅研究22号,Stahl住宅

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The Stahl House by Pierre Koenig | Case Study House #22

The Stahl House by Pierre Koenig Case Study House Mid Century Modern House Frank Hashimoto

Perched on the Hollywood Hills with a commanding view of Los Angeles, the Stahl House, also known as Case Study House #22, is a paragon of mid-century modern architecture. Designed by Pierre Koenig and completed in 1960, this residence is an architectural masterpiece and a symbol of a particular era in Los Angeles, characterized by a burgeoning optimism and a new approach to residential design.

The Stahl House Technical Information

  • Architects 1 : Pierre Koenig
  • Location: 1636 Woods Drive, Los Angeles , California , United States
  • Topics: Mid-Century Modern Houses
  • Area: 210 m 2 | 2,300 ft 2
  • Project Year: 1959-1960
  • Photographs: Various, See Caption Details
If you don’t know the Stahl House, then you don’t know mid-century modern architecture. – Julius Shulman 3

The Stahl House Photographs

The Stahl House by Pierre Koenig Case Study House Mid Century Modern House brontis

A Vision of Glass and Steel

The journey of the Stahl House began in 1954 when Buck Stahl purchased a lot that was considered unbuildable. His vision was clear—a home that embraced its surroundings with vast expanses of glass to capture the sprawling cityscape. In 1957, Koenig, known for his proficiency with industrial materials, was commissioned to realize this vision. The result was a structure of steel and glass that was both minimalistic and expressive.

Design and Layout

Koenig’s design was a masterclass in the use of industrial materials in residential architecture. The house is distinguished by its “L” shaped plan, separating public and private spaces through a simple yet effective layout. Large, 20-foot-wide panes of glass form the majority of the walls facing the view, offering unobstructed panoramas of Los Angeles.

The design also cleverly incorporates the landscape into the living experience. The swimming pool, positioned between the wings of the house, not only serves as a physical buffer separating the living spaces but also as a visual corridor to the city beyond.

I design for the present, with an awareness of the past, for a future which is essentially unknown. – Pierre Koenig 2

Iconic Status and Architectural Significance

Julius Shulman’s photography cemented the Stahl House’s iconic status. In a series of images that have become synonymous with mid-century modern architecture, Shulman captured the essence of the house. These photographs highlight the house’s integration with its surroundings and open, transparent design.

The Stahl House was included in the Case Study House program, which aimed to reimagine residential architecture post-World War II. Case Study House #22 became an influential model showcasing the possibilities of modernist aesthetics in suburban settings.

Cultural Impact and Legacy

Over the years, the Stahl House has transcended its role as a private residence to become a cultural landmark. It has been featured in numerous films, commercials, and fashion shoots, each time underscoring its timeless appeal and architectural significance.

Despite its fame, the house remains a family-owned property, preserved as the Stahls left it. The family offers tours, allowing architecture enthusiasts to experience the space and its spectacular views firsthand.

The Stahl House Plans

The Stahl House by Pierre Koenig Case Study House Mid Century Modern House plan

The Stahl House Image Gallery

The Stahl House by Pierre Koenig Case Study House Mid Century Modern House brontis

About Pierre Koenig

Pierre Koenig was a pioneering American architect, born on October 17, 1925, in San Francisco. Renowned for his influential contributions to mid-century modern architecture, Koenig is best known for his work in the Case Study House program, particularly the iconic Case Study House #22, or Stahl House. His designs emphasized industrial materials like steel and glass, integrating buildings seamlessly into their environments while promoting sustainability through the use of prefabricated materials. A long-time professor at the University of Southern California, Koenig’s legacy continues to influence architectural practices and education. He passed away on April 4, 2004, leaving behind a significant impact on the landscape of Southern California architecture.

Notes & Additional Credits

  • Client: Buck Stahl
  • Case Study Houses by Elizabeth A. T. Smith
  • Modernism Rediscovered by Julius Shulman
  • Pierre Koenig: Living with Steel by Neil Jackson

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Stahl House / Case Study House nº22

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Stahl House (Case Study House #22)

Immortalized by photographer Julius Shulman, the Stahl House epitomized the ideal of modern living in postwar Los Angeles.

Place Details

  • Pierre Koenig

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  • Locally Designated

Property Type

  • Single-Family Residential
  • Los Angeles

Based on a recent approval by the City of Los Angeles for a new residence at the base of the hillside and below the historic Stahl House, this action now places this Modernist icon at risk. The hillside is especially fragile as it is prone to slides and susceptible to destabilization. This condition will be exacerbated as this proposed new residence is planned to cut into the hillside and erect large retaining walls.

The proposed project received approval despite opposition and documentation submitted that substantiates the problem and potential harm to the Stahl House. An appeal has been filed and the City is reviewing this now. No date has been set yet for when this might come back to the City Planning Commission.

To demonstrate your support for the Stahl House and to ensure the appeal is granted (sending the proposed project back for review), please sign on to the  Save the Stahl House campaign .

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Who hasn’t seen the iconic image of architect Pierre Koenig’s Stahl House (Case Study House #22), dramatically soaring over the Los Angeles basin? Built in 1960 as part of the Case Study House program, it is one of the best-known houses of mid-century Los Angeles.

The program was created in 1945 by John Entenza, editor of the groundbreaking magazine  Arts & Architecture . Its mission was to shape and form postwar living through replicable building techniques that used modern industrial materials. With its glass-and-steel construction, the Stahl House remains one of the most famous examples of the program’s principles and aesthetics.

Original owners Buck and Carlotta Stahl found a perfect partner in Koenig, who was the only architect to see the precarious site as an advantage rather than an impediment. The soaring effect was achieved using dramatic roof overhangs and the largest pieces of commercially available glass at the time.

The enduring fame of the Stahl House can be partly attributed to renowned architectural photographer Julius Shulman, who captured nearly a century of growth and development in Southern California but was best-known for conveying the Modern architecture and optimistic lifestyle of postwar Los Angeles. Shulman’s most iconic photo perfectly conveys the drama of the Stahl House at twilight: two women casually recline in the glowing living room as it hovers over the sparkling metropolis below.

View the National Register of Historic Places Nomination

The Conservancy does not own or operate the Stahl House. For any requests, please contact the Stahl House directly at (208) 429-1058.

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Stahl House (Case Study House #22) – Pierre Koenig, 1960

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Stahl House – Pierre Koenig

Perhaps the most widely recognized mid-century home in Los Angeles is the Stahl House by Los Angeles architect Pierre Koenig.  Perched on a nearly vertical precipice in the Hollywood Hills, at the time of its construction the site was considered by many architects to be completely unsuitable for building on.

The Stahl House is also commonly known as Case Study House #22.  The Case Study houses were part of a program sponsored by Arts & Architecture magazine that commissioned major architects to design and build affordable model homes for the housing boom brought on by millions of soldiers returning home at the end of World War II. The program ended up running from 1945 to 1966 and included architects such as Richard Neutra, Raphael Soriano, Eero Saarinen, Craig Ellwood, Charles and Ray Eames, and as noted here, Pierre Koenig.

Pierre-Koenig-Stahl-House-3-lrg

One of the standout elements of Pierre Koenigs work was his use of steel in the home’s design. The established school of thought at the time was that steel was too “industrial” and that woman would never want to live in such a home.  However, once fully realized into a structure for living, the brilliance of Koenig’s homes became indisputable. With their simplicity, their graceful lines and proportions, and their bright and airy openness, his ideas represented a new ideal in living.

Koenig’s houses, and the Stahl House especially, became popularized thanks in no small part to the unforgettable photographs taken by the renowned architectural photographer Julius Shulman that captured the imagination of viewers immediately and ever since. These images convey not only the innovation and strength of design of a home that rests comfortably on the edge of the cliff above the city, with lights blanketing the landscape for miles, but also a contemporary and casual lifestyle with an indoor/outdoor flow that became a hallmark of the California aesthetic that continues to this day. The mostly windowed house allows a breathtaking 240-degree view of the city. And thanks to the house’s steel frame, the roof overhangs are able to jut out a generous 8 feet, which provides a very effective means of shading the windows.

“It was my notion, when I started, to make anonymous architecture for ordinary people.”  – Pierre Koenig

The Stahl House holds visits that are open to the public.  The viewings last 60 minutes and include access to the interior yard and pool area, as well as the kitchen, dining room, and living room.  For more information tours, see  http://www.stahlhouse.com

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A Modern Mission in the Oaks of Los Feliz

The duckett residence, 1964 – vernon f. duckett, a.i.a, the ohara residence in silver lake by richard neutra, 1959.

Julius Shulman’s Case Study House #22

Holden Luntz Gallery

The Greatest American Architectural Photographer of the 20th Century

Julius Shulman is often considered the greatest American architectural photographer of the 20th century. His photography shaped the image of South Californian lifestyle of midcentury America. For 70 years, he created on of the most comprehensive visual archives of modern architecture, especially focusing on the development of the Los Angeles region. The designs of some of the world’s most noted architectures including Richard Neutra, Ray Eames and Frank Lloyd Wright came to life though his photographs. To this day, it is through Shulman’s photography that we witness the beauty of modern architecture and the allure of Californian living.

Neutra and Beyond

Born in 1910 in Brooklyn, Julius Shulman grew up in a small farm in Connecticut before his family moved to Los Angeles at the age of ten. While in Los Angeles, Shulman was introduced to Boy Scouts and often went hiking in Mount Wilson. This allowed him to organically study light and shadow, and be immersed in the outdoors. While in college between UCLA and Berkeley, he was offered to photograph the newly designed Kun House by Richard Neutra. Upon photographing, Shulman sent the six images to the draftsman who then showed them to Neutra. Impressed, Richard Neutra asked Shulman to photograph his other houses and went on to introduce him to other architectures.

The Case Study Houses

Julius Shulman’s photographs revealed the true essence of the architect’s vision. He did not merely document the structures, but interpreted them in his unique way which presented the casual residential elegance of the West Coast. The buildings became studies of light and shadow set against breathtaking vistas. One of the most significant series in Shulman’s portfolio is without a doubt his documentation of the Case Study Houses. The Case Study House Program was established under the patronage of the Arts & Architectue magazine in 1945 in an effort to produce model houses for efficient and affordable living during the housing boom generated after the Second World War. Southern California was used as the location for the prototypes and the program commissioned top architects of the day to design the houses. Julius Shulman was chosen to document the designs and throughout the course of the program he photographed the majority of the 36 houses. Shulman’s photography gave new meaning to the structures, elevating them to a status of international recognition in the realm of architecture and design. His way of composition rendered the structures as inviting places for modern living, reflecting a sense of optimism of modern living.

Julius Shulman, Case Study House #22, Pierre Koenig, Los Angeles, California, 1960, Silver gelatin photograph

Case Study House #22

Case Study House #22, also known as the Stahl House was one of the designs Julius Shulman photographed which later become one of the most iconic of his images. Designed by architect Pierre Koenig in 1959, the Stahl House was the residential home of American football player C.H Buck Stahl located in the Hollywood Hills. The property was initially regarded as undevelopable due to its hillside location, but became an icon of modern Californian architecture. Regarded as one of the most interesting masterpieces of contemporary architecture, Pierre Koenig preferred merging unconventional materials for its time such as steel with a simple, ethereal, indoor-outdoor feel. Julius’s dramatic image, taking in a warm evening in the May of 1960, shows two young ladies dressed in white party dresses lounging and chatting. The lights of the city shimmer in the distant horizon matching the grid of the city, while the ladies sit above the distant bustle and chaos. Pierre Koenig further explains in the documentary titled Case Study Houses 1945-1966 saying;

“When you look out along the beam it carries your eye right along the city streets, and the (horizontal) decking disappears into the vanishing point and takes your eye out and the house becomes one with the city below.”

The Los Angeles Good Life

The image presents a fantasy and is a true embodiment of the Los Angeles good life. By situating two models in the scene, Shulman creates warmth, helping the viewer to imagine scale as well as how life would be like living in this very house. In an interview with Taina Rikala De Noriega for the Archives of American Art Shulman recalls the making of the photograph;

“ So we worked, and it got dark and the lights came on and I think somebody had brought sandwiches. We ate in the kitchen, coffee, and we had a nice pleasant time. My assistant and I were setting up lights and taking pictures all along. I was outside looking at the view. And suddenly I perceived a composition. Here are the elements. I set up the furniture and I called the girls. I said, ‘Girls. Come over sit down on those chairs, the sofa in the background there.’ And I planted them there, and I said, ‘You sit down and talk. I’m going outside and look at the view.’ And I called my assistant and I said, ‘Hey, let’s set some lights.’ Because we used flash in those days. We didn’t use floodlights. We set up lights, and I set up my camera and created this composition in which I assembled a statement. It was not an architectural quote-unquote “photograph.” It was a picture of a mood.”

Purity in Line and Design to Perfection

Shulman’s preference to shoot in black and white reduces the subject to its geometrical essence allowing the viewer to observe the reflections, shadows and forms. A Shulman signature, horizontal and vertical lines appear throughout the image to create depth and dimensional perspective. A mastery in composition, the photograph catches purity in line and design to perfection.

A Lifetime of Achievements

Julius Shulman retired from active architectural work in 1989, leaving behind an incredibly rich archive chronicling the development of modern living in Southern California. A large part of his archive resides at the Getty Museum in California. For the next twenty years he participated in major museum and gallery exhibitions around the world, and created numerous books by publishers such as Taschen and Nazraeli Press. Among his honors, Shulman is the only photographer to have been granted honorary lifetime membership in the American Institute of Architects. In 1998 he was given a lifetime achievement award by ICP. Julius passed away in 2009 in his home in Los Angeles.

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Iconic Photos

Famous, Infamous, and Iconic Images

Case Study House No. 22, 1960

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Between 1945 and 1966, Californian magazine Arts & Architecture asked major architects of the day to design model homes. The magazine was responding to the postwar building boom with prototype modern homes that could be both easily replicated and readily affordable to the average American. Among many criteria given to the architects was to use “as far as is practicable, many war-born techniques and materials best suited to the expression of man’s life in the modern world.”

Thirty-six model homes were commissioned from major architects of the day, including Richard Neutra, Raphael Soriano, Craig Ellwood, Charles and Ray Eames, Pierre Koenig, Eero Saarinen, A. Quincy Jones, and Ralph Rapson. Not all of them were built but some thirty of them were, mostly around the Greater Los Angeles area.

The magazine also engaged an architectural photographer named Julius Shulman to dutifully record this experiment in residential architecture. Fittingly for Shulman, one of the first architectural photographers to include the inhabitants of homes in the pictures, his most famous image was the 1960 view of Pierre Koenig’s Case Study House No. 22 (also the Stahl House), which showed two well-dressed women conversing casually inside.

In the photo, the cantilevered living room appears to float diaphanously above Los Angeles. “The vertiginous point of view contrasts sharply with the relaxed atmosphere of the house’s interior, testifying to the ability of the Modernist architect to transcend the limits of the natural world,” praised the New York Times . Yet this view was created as meticulously as the house itself. Wide-angle photography belied the actual smallness of the house; furniture and furnishings were staged, and as were the women. Although they were not models (but rather girlfriends of architectural students), they were asked to sit still in the dark as Shulman exposed the film seven minutes to capture lights from LA streets. Then, lights inside were quickly switched on to capture two posing women.

Case Study House No.22 as it appeared in Arts and Architecture . Shulman’s photo with inhabitants did not appear here.

See other Case Study Houses here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Case_Study_Houses

Result was the photo Sir Norman Foster termed his favorite “architectural moment”. Indeed, the photo captured excitement and promises the house held, and propelled Case Study No. 22 into the forefront of national consciousness. Some called it the most iconic building in LA. It appeared as backdrop in many movies, TV series and advertisements. Tim Allen was abducted by aliens here in Galaxy Quest ; Greg Kinnear would make it his bachelor pad in Nurse Betty , and Columbo opened its pilot episode here. Italian models in slicked-back hair would frolic poolside in Valentino ads. It was even replicated in the 2004 video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. According to Koenig, Case Study No. 22. was featured in more than 1,200 books — more often than Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater.

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Exploring Case Study House #22 by Julius Shulman

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This article pays tribute to Julius Shulman , the godfather of architectural photography, who passed away at 98. Shulman didn’t just document buildings; he captured modernism’s essence with precision. Case Study House #22 stands out among his designs, an architectural vision in the Hollywood Hills. Perched on cliffs, this house became Shulman’s iconic subject. Join us as we uncover the story behind this famous picture and explore Shulman’s captivating journey.

Who was Julius Shulman?

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Julius Shulman, the man behind the camera was not only a photographer but an architect’s narrator. Shulman, born in 1910, did not merely photograph buildings, he documented the spirit of modernism.

FUN FACT: Julius Shulman often used unconventional methods to capture his iconic shots. In one instance, he reportedly climbed onto a neighbor’s roof to photograph a house, showcasing his determination and creativity in getting the perfect angle.

Shulman’s story started in the architectural capital of the world, Los Angeles. His lens swayed in the creations of architectural legends such as Richard Neutra, Pierre Koenig, and Charles Eames. The recognizable pictures turned into the vision of the mid-century American spirit and became the symbol of post-war optimism.

What is Happening in Case Study House #22?

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Julius Shulman
1960
Photography
Architectural Photography
Mid-Century Modernism
Varies
Private collections, museums, and galleries worldwide

Welcome to Case Study House No. 22, which could be considered Shulman’s masterpiece. This architectural masterpiece is indeed a perfect example of the fusion of aesthetics and utility as it stands gracefully on the cliff of Hollywood Hills. Designed and built in 1960, this house was one of the examples of the Case Study Houses program by John Entenza’s Arts & Architecture magazine which was an attempt at popularizing affordable and efficient living spaces.

What’s So Special About Case Study House #22?

The Case Study House number 22 is a significant example of post-war modernist architecture: the house is characterized by a narrow elongated silhouette and a focus on minimalism. Nested on the Hollywood Hills’ cliff, it has become an emblem of California dreaming and style, with its silhouette etched against the endless Los Angeles cityscape. This work of art has been captured in the timeless photograph by Julius Shulman that has put it among the most famous buildings in architectural history.

Looking at the architecture of Case Study House #22 one can say that it is an example of how art and architecture are intertwined with cultural values. Thanks to its unique design and location, it has become an example of a contemporary lifestyle, and its depiction in films and television series has turned it into a cultural reference. This architectural marvel stands as a timeless reminder of the mid-century modern movement and an explanation of why visionary design remains a powerful force to this very day.

Interesting Facts About Case Study House #22

The Perfect Frame: Shulman’s photograph of Case Study House #22 is not merely a snapshot but a carefully composed masterpiece. The interplay of light and shadow, the juxtaposition of sleek lines against the sprawling cityscape, all within the confines of a single frame, is a testament to Shulman’s mastery.

A Star-Studded Icon: Case Study House #22 didn’t just capture the essence of modern architecture; it became an icon itself. Its appearance in countless films, television shows, and advertisements cemented its status as a cultural touchstone.

Behind the Scenes: The photograph’s perfection belies the chaos behind the scenes. Shulman’s assistant, who was responsible for switching on the lights inside the house, got stuck in traffic. With moments to spare, Shulman improvised, capturing the image with the house’s natural glow, elevating it to legendary status.

Timeless Appeal: Despite being over six decades old, Shulman’s photograph continues to captivate audiences worldwide. Its timeless appeal lies in its ability to transcend the boundaries of time and space, offering viewers a glimpse into a world where architecture and art merge seamlessly.

Artwork Spotlight: Architectural Study – Interior

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Shulman’s Architectural Study – Interior is available on Singulart. This artwork is a stunning piece that brings the viewer into the world of the modernist style, captured through the details and play of light and shadow and the spirit of the mid-century styles in one image.

Are you looking for a piece of artwork from Julius Shulman ?

Singulart has limited edition prints of Julius Shulman. If you are looking for a piece of Shulman‘s artwork for sale, simply click on the artwork or the button below to discover more!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is julius shulman known for.

Most people agree that Julius Shulman is the most significant architectural photographer in history. In the course of a 70-year career, Shulman not only captured the architectural designs of many of the greatest 20th-century architects, but he also turned commercial architectural photography into a beautiful art.

What techniques did Julius Shulman use?

He rendered features that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to see by using infrared film to highlight the sky against the building’s edge. To express a more dynamic space, he would place tree branches to the outside of the frame in his shots. He also used a distinct sense of art direction. 

In the world of architectural photography, Julius Shulman is a giant, his camera capturing not only structures but the essence of an epoch. And in Case Study House #22, his legacy is at its finest, a perfect example of how art transcends the barriers of time and space.

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CASE STUDY HOUSE #22

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Designed in 1959, the Stahl House is located in the hills around Los Angeles and is one of the most interesting masterpieces of contemporary architecture. Constructively, it is made through the use of a steel structure resting on a reinforced concrete base with some parts overhanging the valley below. The privileged position of the house is decisive for the L-shaped development of the system, which opens towards the landscape and the swimming pool, and closes towards the road behind it. The L not only allows you to look towards the city but also to divide the rooms into two areas, private and representative.

The house is simple, modern, with a structure almost entirely in iron and glass, light and transparent, just to look away, without barriers and without brakes.

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CASE STUDY HOUSE #22 Architect: Pierre Koenig Photo: Julius Shulman

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Stahl Residence, Case Study House #22 by Pierre Koenig

During the holidays slow home will be re-running archived content,  we will return in 2010 with new episodes..

Wonderful! Thanks so much for this segment.

Fantastic tour and commentary on a great house. Thanks John!

John, if you compare the photograph above with the recent photographs that you took it appears that a small deck has been added around the living room. Is that correct?

As an aside, there are a couple of good articles in the Globe Real Estate section today. One details the plight of another famous LA residence – the Frank Lloyd Wright Ennis House. The other talks about the trend in high-end real estate towards smaller smarter design – Good things, small packages.

Of note with the Ennis house – this is another in a line of homes by FLW brilliant in design but poor in execution. No doubt ahead the construction and engineering practice of the day.

In the Good things, small packages article note the influence of the Stahl residence and other iconic mid-century residential designs on the current homes shown. It is not just the form of the house but the philosophy behind the design which is common.

Gorgeous house! Thanks for showing these pictures. Interesting to learn about the lights outside the house. One thing that came to mind was I wouldn’t want to change the light bulbs here!

Great segment John. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Thanks for the walk-through tour of this iconic home, John. Very interesting! I’ve found that learning about the layout and how the home’s elements interplay has usurped the amazing photos of its unique location above LA.

Fascinating house. Very unassuming from the street side and spectacular from the cliff side. It opens up interesting possibilities when you can use the outdoors as a functional part of the house. Hey John — maybe with global warming your successors will eventually be able to do this sort of thing here in Calgary!

I completely understand why they increased the size of the carport wall and put a locking door in it, as it would nice to be able to leave the sliding doors unlocked at night so that the children would be able to head to the kitchen for a midnight snack without either cutting through the master bedroom or having to take a key with them. However, if they aren’t fully awake when they try to negotiate that bridge they just might end up very awake and very wet!

Interesting that they chose to put the master bedroom in the middle and the children’s bedroom at the end. From a privacy perspective I would have expected it to be the other way around, but I guess they felt that the corner of the “L” was the best place to put the master ensuite and wanted to give the master bedroom a direct link to the rest of the house.

John — any chance that you could post a PDF or JPEG of the floorplan so that we could look at it more closely without having to pause the video?

Doug, Here is the plan.

I agree with your thoughts about the order of the bedrooms. Add to that the fact that there were two boys and one girl growing up in the house and it is wonder that there was any privacy at all. (We learned on the tour that the kid’s bedroom had been subdivided with a wall that lined up with the center mullion. The boy’s in bunk beds on one side and the girl on the other).

I think that the placement of the master bathroom (which is actually quite generous given the times and the size of the house) is inspired in terms of using up the outside corner of the L shaped plan.

Also a good point about falling into the pool. Several people on the tour almost did. Also, there are no handrails anywhere and it is quite easy to just walk off the edge of the cliff. Again, it seems like an unnerving place to raise a small family.

[img]cs22-3.jpg[/img]

Brad, Any chance you could share the link to the Ennis Brown House story?

I have been taking my students there for tours for fifteen years until it was closed because of the collapsing retaining walls. I actually had the opportunity to meet Mr. Brown (no relation unfortunately) several times before he passed away.

Good things, small packages: Vancouver architect D’Arcy Jones is tapping into a new dynamic

The Perfect House: Buyer needed to rescue a Wright masterpiece

Let’s try again…

Good things, small packages: Vancouver architect D’Arcy Jones is tapping into a new dynamic http://www.theglobeandmail.com/real-estate/good-things-small-packages/article1204232/

The Perfect House: Buyer needed to rescue a Wright masterpiece http://www.theglobeandmail.com/real-estate/buyer-needed-to-rescue-a-wright-masterpiece/article1204530/

Thank you for the little presentation. I think Pierre Koenig has done some outstanding houses – simple, spacious layouts. It seems to me he really liked to work with big sliding doors and water – perhaps not the perfect idea of families with small children but looking at those original picture it makes you understand the original idea behind that, behind this era of CA-Architecture. I guess Doug is right, perhaps those global changes will make it possible to do that kind of houses in other parts of the world too but on the other hand I’d like to know how this building is working in CA as well – guess you can not consider that to be a GREEN BUILDING but wouldn’t it be interesting to find ways to keep the idea and make this design work in the 21.century? The layout is never outdated but the contruction needs a good new makeover (without losing its obvious quality!) I love those case study houses – a very important piece of architectural history!

John, I’ve wanted so much to be “on the inside” of that iconic photo for so many years! Thank you so much for the tour and commentary. What a joyful, optimistic, modern house. Such a contrast with one of the more stifling ethos of our times: “the children must be (over)protected at all times!” I would think everyone would thrill to walk the edges of the pool and the cliff. But don’t leave us hanging… did all survive?

Another modern case study home. And one shaped like a box with floor to ceiling windows. How unique.

I disagree that the utter lack of privacy for the children’s rooms and the arduous trip from the carport to the kitchen with the grocery bags, constitute good design. I guess I just don’t get it.

FYI – According to the son of the homes owner, the house was designed in mid 1956 by his father, C.H. Stahl. Pierre Koenig was hired to fine tune the house design and make it buildable.

Robert, you are right there are many homes shaped like a box with floor to ceiling windows. But not in 1956. Also, very few houses presented a windowless, doorless response to the front.

The house does pose some practical problems for a family living in it, but the way it responds to its site and the social commentary it makes sets it apart as a very dynamic and influential piece of architecture.

I can’t emote how exciting this property is. Similar to other masterpieces such as The Philip Johnson Glass House it may not hold a sense of practicality for most of us but boy it really revs up the mental engine.

I appreciate more and more when such unique ideas becomes reality. If more people would be so bold.

It is said that most of our greatest ideas go with us to the grave. At least a few make it out alive.

Robert – Not to create a debate but it would be interesting to see a few examples of what you and others consider an ideal living environment. For myself the influences are varied and seem to evolve as I become more familiar with other styles.

Here is a reference to the LA Times article which discusses the Stahl residence as viewed by the family and the controversy regarding its design.

http://www.latimes.com/features/home/la-hm-stahl27-2009jun27,0,504751.story

Hi john, Could you please email me a readible copy of the Stahl house blue print?

John, Stumbled on your site yesterday and I love what I see. Looking forward to what you have to offer in the New Year.

As for this home – I love to see the use of sliders and pocket doors. (On a side note I think designers should incorporate them more). In relation to how the space feels and functions – these were a necessity. Their usage in the master kept it clean, sight lines intact, and saved precious space.

Does anyone know where I can find plan views of the house? Preferably with measurements. Thanks.

i need the analysis of this house as soon as possible …. that’s my email [email protected] plz help me

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IMAGES

  1. Gallery of A Virtual Look Into Pierre Koenig's Case Study House #22

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  2. My take on Pierre Koenig's Case study house #22, AKA the Stahl house

    case study house 22 decke

  3. Case Study House #22 (Playboy), Los Angeles, CA (Pierre Koenig

    case study house 22 decke

  4. Gallery of Three Defining Movements in Architectural Photography

    case study house 22 decke

  5. A Virtual Look Into Pierre Koenig's Case Study House #22, The Stahl

    case study house 22 decke

  6. STUA in Case Study House 22, Stahl House, by architect, Pierre Koenig

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VIDEO

  1. Case Study House #26 Video

  2. Case Study 9

  3. presenting the eames house, also known as case study house no. 8, 1949 #architecture #eames

  4. Chateau Marmont & Stahl House

  5. TY SEGALL / comfortable home

  6. AD Classics: Stahl House

COMMENTS

  1. AD Classics: Stahl House / Pierre Koenig

    The two-bedroom, 2,200 square foot residence is a true testament to modernist architecture and the Case Study House Program. The program was set in place by John Entenza and sponsored by the Arts ...

  2. Stahl House (Case Study House #22)

    1635 Woods Drive , West Hollywood 90069, United States of America. ". The Stahl House by Pierre Koenig (also known as Case Study House #22) was part of the Case Study House Program, which produced some of the most iconic architectural projects of the 20th Century. The modern residence overlooks Los Angeles from the Hollywood Hills.

  3. A Virtual Look Into Pierre Koenig's Case Study House #22, The Stahl

    Julius Shulman 's 1960 photograph of Pierre Koenig 's Case Study House 22, perhaps better known as Stahl House, changed the fantasies of a generation. Shulman's photograph of, or rather ...

  4. Stahl House

    The Stahl House (also known as Case Study House #22) is a modernist-styled house designed by architect Pierre Koenig in the Hollywood Hills section of Los Angeles, California, which is known as a frequent set location in American films.Photographic and anecdotal evidence shows that the architect's client, Buck Stahl, provided the inspiration for the overall cantilevered structure.

  5. The Stahl House by Pierre Koenig

    Perched on the Hollywood Hills with a commanding view of Los Angeles, the Stahl House, also known as Case Study House #22, is a paragon of mid-century modern architecture. Designed by Pierre Koenig and completed in 1960, this residence is an architectural masterpiece and a symbol of a particular era in Los Angeles, characterized by a burgeoning optimism and a new approach to residential design.

  6. Stahl House / Case Study House nº22

    The Case Study House No. 22 was planned this way and for these reasons." Concept. The difference between this house and Case Study House No. 21 is that the architects did not have to be concerned with both the potential of prefabrication and the use of standardized components. While the steel porches of the previous Case Study House are ...

  7. CaseStudyHouse 22 / Stahl House by Pierre Koenig. Complete overview

    I you want to see only construction/walkthrough, skip the intro/history: 5:01If you want to see only walkthrough, skip intro/history/construction: 10:11 Chec...

  8. Stahl House (Case Study House #22)

    Built in 1960 as part of the Case Study House program, it is one of the best-known houses of mid-century Los Angeles. The program was created in 1945 by John Entenza, editor of the groundbreaking magazine Arts & Architecture. Its mission was to shape and form postwar living through replicable building techniques that used modern industrial ...

  9. Stahl House (Case Study House #22)

    The Stahl House is also commonly known as Case Study House #22. The Case Study houses were part of a program sponsored by Arts & Architecture magazine that commissioned major architects to design and build affordable model homes for the housing boom brought on by millions of soldiers returning home at the end of World War II. The program ended ...

  10. Case Study Houses

    The Stahl House, Case Study House #22. The Case Study Houses were experiments in American residential architecture sponsored by Arts & Architecture magazine, which commissioned major architects of the day, including Richard Neutra, Raphael Soriano, Craig Ellwood, Charles and Ray Eames, Pierre Koenig, Eero Saarinen, A. Quincy Jones, Edward Killingsworth, Rodney Walker, and Ralph Rapson to ...

  11. Julius Shulman's Case Study House #22

    Case Study House #22. Case Study House #22, also known as the Stahl House was one of the designs Julius Shulman photographed which later become one of the most iconic of his images. Designed by architect Pierre Koenig in 1959, the Stahl House was the residential home of American football player C.H Buck Stahl located in the Hollywood Hills.

  12. Case Study House No. 22

    The Stahl House, Case Study House #22, was designed by Pierre Koenig and built between 1959 and 1960. It is one of the most iconic and revered of the residential dwellings constructed under the auspices of Arts & Architecture magazine's Case Study House Program, which ran from 1945 until 1966.

  13. Case Study House No. 22, 1960

    Case Study House No. 22, 1960. Posted on February 27, 2011 by Iconic Photos. Between 1945 and 1966, Californian magazine Arts & Architecture asked major architects of the day to design model homes. The magazine was responding to the postwar building boom with prototype modern homes that could be both easily replicated and readily affordable to ...

  14. The Stahl House: Case Study House #22

    The Stahl House: Case Study House #22, The Making of a Modernist Icon is the official autobiography of this world-renowned architectural gem by the family that made it their home.Considered one of the most iconic and recognizable examples of mid-century modern homes in the world, the Stahl House was first envisioned by the owners Buck and Carlotta Stahl, designed by architect Pierre Koenig ...

  15. Stahl House

    Built by Pierre Koenig in 1960, the Stahl House, or Case Study House #22 represents mid century minimalism in the Los Angeles hills. Built as part of the Case Study House program, the home has become an icon of architecture through its form and photography.

  16. Case Study House 22

    5. The Case Study House Program. In 1959 the Stahl House was inducted into the Case Study House program by The Arts and Architecture Magazine, headed by John Entenza. The house was given the number 22 in the Case Study Program. The Case Study House Program was intended to create well-designed homes for the typical post-World War family.

  17. Exploring Case Study House #22 by Julius Shulman

    The Case Study House number 22 is a significant example of post-war modernist architecture: the house is characterized by a narrow elongated silhouette and a focus on minimalism. Nested on the Hollywood Hills' cliff, it has become an emblem of California dreaming and style, with its silhouette etched against the endless Los Angeles cityscape.

  18. Case Study House #22, Los Angeles, CA

    Case Study House #22, Los Angeles, CA; Date 1960, printed 1960 Place ...

  19. CASE STUDY HOUSE #22

    Julius Shulman's 1960 photographs of Pierre Koenig's Case Study House #22, better known as the Stahl House, changed the fantasies of a generation. The "Case Study" program was one of the first and most interesting experiments on residential architecture. John Entenza, director of Arts & Architecture magazine, had commissioned some of ...

  20. Case Study House #22

    Case Study House #22. Erin Mitchell. May 25, 2017 · 3 min read. If you want to know anything at all about Case Study Houses you must get Taschen's reissue of Arts & Architecture 1945-1949 ...

  21. Case Study House #22

    Case Study House #22. Date: 1960: Location: Pierre Koenig building Los Angeles California United States: Dimensions: Image: 20 x 24 in. (50.8 x 61 cm) Paper: 20 x 24 in. (50.8 x 61 cm) Print medium: Photo-Gelatin silver: Credit line. Gift of Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York and Craig Kroll Gallery, Los Angeles, 2001.

  22. Stahl Residence, Case Study House #22 by Pierre Koenig

    FYI - According to the son of the homes owner, the house was designed in mid 1956 by his father, C.H. Stahl. Pierre Koenig was hired to fine tune the house design and make it buildable. John, I've wanted so much to be "on the inside" of that iconic photo for so many years! Thank you so much for the tour and commentary.