Pierre Koenig: Ahead of His Time

Without a doubt, Pierre Koenig was a great American modern architect.  Anyone who has even a passing interest in modern architecture has undoubtedly seen photographs of his ultra-modern Stahl House courtesy of the all encompassing lens of Jules Shulman.

Pierre Koenig was born in San Francisco, California on October 17, 1925, and later moved with his family to Los Angeles.   For nine years beginning in 1943, he attended Pasadena City College in Pasadena, California, the University of Utah's Department of Engineering in Salt Lake City, worked for architect Raphael Soriano (designed Koenig House #1 in 1950), and graduated from The university of Southern California in 1952 with a Bachelor in Architecture (1).

During his career, he designed and assisted in designing many unique homes.  Nevertheless, he will forever be known for his futuristic and extremely hip designs of two famous Case Study Houses: the Bailey House (1958), and the Stahl House (1960).  Somewhat less known, but no less important is the Bailey House or Case Study House # 21.  The Bailey House was constructed with revolutionary new materials and processes such as, the residential use of steel combined with arc welding.  Many architects consider it to be Koenig's best design (1).  The Stahl House was built for aerospace executive C. H. "Buck" Stahl on unsuitable terrain above Sunset Drive in Hollywood Hills.  Its cantilevered design combined with location offers visitors a breathtaking view of Los Angeles.  Also known as Case Study House #22, it has been used as a set for more than a few movies, commercials, and music videos (2).

Pierre Koenig passed away in 2004, but he left an enduring legacy that helped define post war modern architecture in California.

Sources for further viewing:
1.  Koenig, by Neil Jackson: Taschen 2007
2.  The Most Photographed Home in The World: IAMNOTASTALKER.COM
3.  Pierre Koenig: A Futurist For Today, Jetset Modern

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