Case Study House No. 22, aka the Stahl House, is as much about what is there as what is not. You never feel completely inside or outside. Instead, you ride a pleasant combination of both, protected and free at the same time. The view wraps around you and everything you see is bathed in natural light. You’re aware of the position of the sun and know when constellations will rise at night. You see fireflies stream between bushes and planes in the distance lining up to land – which mimics which? You realize this is so much more than a house and imagine building your own glass home. Then you remember: You have neighbors.
The story of this house begins in 1954, when Buck and Carlotta Stahl purchased a piece of land that would become the site of one of the most widely known modern homes in the world. The first two architects they tried to hire refused to build on such a precarious spot, but their luck changed when they met Pierre Koenig. The young architect had just passed his California State Board architecture exams and was ready to embrace the challenge.
Located on what the architect called “an eagle’s nest site in the Hollywood hills,” the 2,200-square-foot house was completed in 1960. Constructed of glass and steel, it is a house entirely focused on a fabulous view and being connected to the outside world. This exterior world is accessible from every room – even the kids’ room – and stepping between indoors and out is as effortless as walking from room to room. “You see the view and you’re living with the environment, the outside,” said Koenig.
Before Koenig accepted the job, he wisely proposed the project to John Entenza and Arts & Architecture magazine’s program for experimental houses (1945–66), which is how the Stahl House became Case Study House No. 22. The purpose of the program was to promote affordable architecture for the post-war years. Clients enjoyed access to top architects and significant savings on materials. In return, they agreed to open their homes to the public once complete. Fifty-six years later, the Stahl family continues to honor that promise.
When you get there, you may be surprised to see furniture that looks familiar. That’s because the Stahl family chose DWR to furnish their home. It’s an honor to be part of the ongoing legacy of Case Study House No. 22.