The Stahl House, is not only our favorite on the Case Study Houses but it is also considered as one of the most iconic California Luxury Homes, an architectural gem hidden up in the Hollywood Hills. The Case Study House program aimed to introduce the middle class to the beauty of modernist architecture through the simplicity of form, natural light, a seamless connection between inside and out and the Stahl House got all the right Real Estate Los Angeles boxes ticked.
Case Study Houses were experiments in the American residential and architectural homes sponsored by Arts & Architecture magazine, which commissioned major architects of the day, to design and build inexpensive and efficient model homes for the residential housing boom caused by the end of World War II.
This modernist principles in residential architecture, served not only to advance the aesthetic, but to introduce new ways of life both in a stylistic sense and one that represented the lifestyles of the modern age.
The plan of the two-bedroom, 2,200 square foot residence with swimming pool begun in 1945, through the hands of the home owner Bruce Stahl and his wife Carlota after they purchased the piece of land where the house now stands on. At the time it was an unfriendly spot precarious and difficult to access.
Bruce Stahl, a graphic designer and sign painter by trade had envisioned a modernist glass and steel constructed house that offered a completely 270-degree unobstructed view of the mountains to the sea.
In late 1957, one of the rarest cases of shared authorship began to take place. Koenig was the right architect at the right time. An ambitious and ingenious young architect, Koening took on Bruce Stahl initial concept and transformed into the most iconic steel and glass home in Modern Architecture.
While others had turned down the project, due to its problematic jagged-edged hillside lot, Koenig’s advance the aesthetic and modernist principles persisted. One of his innovations was to use the largest possible sheets of glass available at the time for residential construction, it reduced the presence of framing elements and the house seems to float.
The house is an “L” shaped where the private and public sectors are completely separated except a single hall that connects the two wings. Contiguous to that frame is the swimming pool that you must cross in order to get into the house; it is not only a division of public and private space but it is also a connection between spaces that you have to cross to experience the panoramic views. The living space of the house is set at the back behind the pool and is the only part of the house that has a solid wall. The entire house is understood to be one large viewing box that captures amazing perspectives of the house, the landscape, and Los Angeles.
During the years it has undergone many interior transformations, so you will not find the same iconic 1960s furniture, but the truth is that all the glorious midcentury furniture in the living room pictured in the pages of Arts & Architecture Magazine was brought in by furniture maker Van Keppel-Green to decorate the house for its premiere photo shoot as part of the Case Study House Program.
According to Bruce Stahl, they were a “blue collar family living in a white collar house, nobody famous ever lived here” but this Los Angeles Luxury Real Estate has been pictured various times in shoots and campaigns, television shows and also a replica was included in the 2004 video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas as one of the houses players can buy.
In 1999, the house was declared a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument. In 2007, it became one of the top 150 “America’s Favorite Architecture” by the American Institute of Architects. More recently it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, one of the few privately own.
Pierre Koenig was able to honor the vision of Buck Stahl and transform that vision into this masterpiece of modern architecture.