Monday, May 4, 2009

MCM Mondays - Pierre Koenig

Pierre Koenig, 1925-2004. R.I.P., talented cool dude.

"The architecture of Pierre Koenig, FAIA, demonstrates a simple elegance derived from a design process that melds plan, structure and nature into a holistic experience. With the use of steel and glass he has evolved fresh and exciting solutions to some difficult aesthetic and structural problems.

His first exposed steel and glass house, completed in 1950 while still a student at USC, launched him on a career that has earned him international recognition for numerous innovative buildings. When Arts and Architecture magazine was seeking inventive architects for their Case Study Houses, they chose Koenig to design two of them, Case Study House 21 and Case Study House 22.

Over the years Case Study House 22 has become an iconic symbol of Southern California living. It is a spectacular house soaring above the city below, with long cantilevered roof and floor overhangs that extend the viewer's line of vision to the distant ocean and the horizon beyond. Case Study House 21 exemplifies a meticulous coordination between plan, structure and detail. The landscaping, designed by Koenig, is composed of water, brick and gravel to extend the horizontal planes of the house. In 1989 the Museum of Modern Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles constructed on-site at the Temporary Contemporary a full scale walk-through model of CSH 22 for the exhibit titled "Blueprints for Modern Living."

Pierre Koenig's work has been published throughout the world. Recent honors include the 1996 AIACC Lifetime Award and the AIACC 25 Year Award, the Pacific Design Center Lifetime Achievement Award and the University of Southern California School of Architecture Outstanding Alumni of the Year Award. The first monograph devoted to his architectural career will be published this Spring by Phaidon Press." Via La Obscura.

The Case Study House #22, more popularly known as the Stahl House, is Koenig's most well-known work located on 1636 Woods Drive, Los Angeles. West Coast's most famous house built in 1960, is the backdrop of many TV shows and movies and is still occupied by the original owner, Carlotta Stahl. Lucky lady.

Not as well known but of the same style, Case Study House #21, the Bailey House, located in the Hollywood Hills (9028 Wonderland Park Ave., Los Angeles) was constructed in 1958 and embodies much of what is the quintessential L.A. Modern.

At 1320 square feet, it was built for $20,000. The 2 bedroom structure is balanced by five, count them, five reflection pools that completely surround the house and serve both cooling functions and as visual transitions between building and site. Koenig himself oversaw a complete renovation of the house for owner Dan Cracchiolo in 1998, after which it was sold for $1.5 million to Mark Haddawy. He sold it in December 2006 for over $3.5M. Guess who is doing some stalking this weekend??

Koenig's Case Study House #21 photographed by Julius Schulman (are his iconic images burned into your retinas yet?), with Pierre Koenig himself at the stereo. Then...

...And now. Remember when Brad Pitt collaborated with photographer Steven Klein (I heart you) in the 'controversial' edition of W magazine starring then rumored new love/man-eater Angelina?

Nice Papa Bear chair, BRAD.


erin@designcrisis said...

My next house will have a wall of glass, dammit. It WILL.


Home as Art!

House of Slappy said...

You and me both, Erin.

Teri - Indeed. We should all be so lucky as to have homes this gorgeous.

PlushPalate said...

The infamous Brangelina pictures! Love them!

alison said...

Hello, I am currently producing a peice on Koenig and the Stahl House for ABC and was hoping to aquire a few pitures. These are incredible and exactly what we are looking for. Is there anyone I could contact about these images? Thank you so much. My name is Alison and my contact is

Thank you!!