Pierre Koenig, an award-winning Californian architect, had a style that is instantly recognisable, and totally distinct from his contemporaries. Most of the midcentury Modernist architects were into curvy, exaggerated Googie and organic designs. Koenig’s designs are more understated and Zen. He favoured boxy shapes, with flat, jutting roofs.
Pierre Koenig’s Case Study Houses were his contribution to one of the most exciting American architecture projects of the last century. After World War Two ended, lots of American soldiers returned home and married their sweethearts. Everyone was trying to buy their first homes and there weren’t quite enough of them to go around, so lots of new houses had to be built. Although the economy had begun to recover, it was still suffering the bruises of wartime. People wanted a place to call their own, but they needed something affordable.
A magazine called Arts & Architecture initiated the Case Study Houses project, in which they invited famous architects to design affordable, yet stylish housing. In fact, Eero Saarinen and his collaborator Charles Eames, among others, were also chosen to design Case Study Houses.
Image: Iwata House
[Photo credit: fstorer]
In the photos below, you can see Pierre Koenig’s Case Study Houses Nos. 21 and 22. The first and second images are of the Bailey Residence (Case Study House No. 21). It turned out so well that Koenig was commissioned to design Case Study House No. 22, or the Stahl Residence, which is pictured in the third photo.
Images: Bailey House, Bailey House Interior, Stahl Residence
Check out this cool, quirky video to experience for yourself the transcendent Californian beauty of Pierre Koenig’s Case Study Houses.
[Video credit: AllCe Lab]