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Architect US
Case Houses in Los Angeles

Case Study Houses and other buildings to visit!

I want to see as many of the Case Study Houses was I can. These were projects sponsored by Arts & Architecture magazine. They commissioned major architects of the day to design and build inexpensive and efficient model homes for the United States residential housing boom.

I had a big list of buildings, mainly private houses and museums that I wanted to see during my time on the West Coast. I haven’t had a chance to get out of LA sort far but I have made a small dent of local, easy to get to places.

One place on my list was the Hollyhock House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright as a residence for oil heiress Aline Barnsdall, built in 1921. I’ve never studied a Frank Lloyd Wright building in detail and this is not one of his most known project but I was still really delighted to get to step inside, as most of his single family homes are still privately owned. Hollyhock House house is very introverted with only small exterior windows. It is arranged around a central courtyard with one side open to form a kind of theatrical stage (never used as such), and a complex system of split levels, steps and roof terraces around that courtyard.

I’ve also see the Wayfarers Chapel by Frank Lloyd Wright’s son Lloyd Wright designed in the late 1940s. This building is very different from Hollyhock House, here Lloyd Wright departed from the tradition of using masonry in order to “achieve a delicate enclosure that allows the surrounding landscape to define the sacred space”.

I want to see as many of the Case Study Houses was I can. These were projects sponsored by Arts & Architecture magazine. They commissioned major architects of the day to design and build inexpensive and efficient model homes for the United States residential housing boom caused by the end of World War II. Not that many of the proposed project were actually built but I’m planning to see all that I can.
The first Case Study House I visited was the Eames House (also known as Case Study House No. 8), a mid-20th century modern building located in the Pacific Palisades neighbourhood of Los Angeles. It was constructed in 1949, by husband-and-wife design pioneers Charles and Ray Eames, to serve as their home and studio. It had been one of my favourite buildings all the way through studying so it was amazing to experience it first hand. The setting is much more peaceful than I had imagined, you really feel as though you are in a private clearing in the woods but with an amazing view of the ocean.But the project I’m most excited about visiting requires you to book about three months in advance. So I’ve booked to go in April. It’s 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. It such an iconic building for Los Angeles, so glamourous and all about natural light, open plan living and an amazing view.

Clare Edwards

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