Berbay Gets a Glimpse Inside LA’s Famous Stahl House

Author: Amy Rossetti | July 25, 2016

You may not know its name or who designed it, but you’ve almost certainly seen this famous Los Angeles home. Case Study House #22, or the Stahl House, named for the family that bought the lot in 1954, is an iconic piece of modernist architecture, immortalized in movies, TV shows and the photography of Julius Shulman.

The Berbay team was lucky enough to visit the Stahl House as part of our cultural camaraderie initiative for June. Although the interior has changed over the years, the architecture is unaltered and the house is still open to the public a few times a week. Some guests even get a tour with Carlotta Stahl, one of the owners.

Case Study House #22 was given its original name because it is number 22 out of a total of 27 homes that were built as part of the Case Study series, a two-decade long experiment sponsored by Arts & Architecture magazine that challenged architects to design innovative residential homes.

Buck Stahl and his wife Carlotta purchased the lot for $13,000 and went on a search to find the perfect architect to execute their vision. Multiple architects turned Buck down, saying that it was impossible to build the house they wanted. But the Stahls carried on, eventually finding Pierre Koenig. Koenig collaborated with Buck and was able to bring the house to life.

The Stahl House was (and still is) incredible because it represented an entirely new way of living. Buck and Koenig rejected all architectural standards and made the “L” shaped house out of industrial materials that had never been considered useful in residential architecture before. The house required the largest piece of glass commercially available at the time to create the three glass walls.

We’re thankful to have seen such an important part of LA history. The Stahl House goes to show what people with creativity and vision can accomplish.

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