Architectural photographer Julius Shulman lived in this house by Raphael Soriano for nearly 60 years. Completed in 1950 and located in Hollywood Hills, the glass and steel structure is a series of boxes that frame the view, much like the lens of a camera. It’s a paradigm of the indoor-outdoor lifestyle that Shulman portrayed in his photos, but with one special twist: It has screened-in patios that act as transitional zones – filters, if you will – between indoors and out. Soriano was opposed to them, but Shulman insisted given that his daughter was then six, and the surrounding heavily wooded area had coyotes and other creatures best kept outdoors. Sometimes the homeowner does know best.
After Shulman passed away in 2009, the house went through a thorough but sensitive renovation by the new owners and Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects. The most notable nod to the previous inhabitant is the darkroom that remains in Shulman’s studio, which is adjacent to the house and separated by a peaceful rock garden with fountain. The darkroom is no longer functional but serves as a reminder of the man who once lived there and the powerful images he left behind.
In the “It’s a small world” department:
Shortly after completing the Shulman house, Raphael Soriano hired a young architect named Pierre Koenig, who would go on to design Case Study House No. 22 for the Stahl family ten years later. The photographer hired to shoot the Stahl house for the Los Angeles Examiner turned out to be Julius Shulman, and with one captivating moment he turned Koenig into a household name.
In the summer of 1960, photographer Julius Shulman used a seven-minute exposure to capture this image of Case Study House No. 22 by Pierre Koenig. It’s just a guess, but I’m assuming Shulman developed this photograph in the darkroom located in his Soriano-designed home, further connecting the lives of two architects and one architectural photographer.