“Buck wanted to stand in every room from his house, turn his head, and see every view. Even the bathroom. And so that was kind of what inspired the design of the house.”
Among the most famous photographs of modern architecture is Julius Shulman’s picture of Case Study House #22, also known as the Stahl House after the family that commissioned it. Two girls in white dresses sit inside a glass cube that seems to float atop a cliff over the illuminated grid of Los Angeles at night. Built by a family with a “beer budget and champagne tastes,” the two-bedroom home designed by architect Pierre Koenig changed residential design in LA. While Shulman’s image and others of the building have appeared in countless publications, advertisements, films, and TV shows, the story of how the house came to be and what it was like to live there is less well known.
In this episode, Bruce Stahl and Shari Stahl Gronwald and writer Kim Cross discuss the story of how Case Study House #22 came to be and share personal stories about what it was like to grow up and live in the home, from roller skating across the concrete floors to diving off the roof into the pool. Stahl, Gronwald, and Cross are co-authors of the recent book The Stahl House: Case Study House #22; The Making of a Modernist Icon.