Case Study House #21, a modern marvel of steel and glass built in 1959, has landed on the market for $4.5 million. Renowned architect Pierre Koenig worked on the design of this Hollywood Hills steel–framed stunner not once, but twice.
According to the L.A. Conservancy, the home was originally “envisioned as a prototype for modern housing that could be produced on a large scale, perfectly in keeping with the goals of Arts and Architecture magazine’s Case Study House program.”
And just in case you need to catch up: the Case Study House program, commissioned by Arts and Architecture magazine in 1945, challenged up-and-coming architects to create experimental prototypes using modern and low-cost materials.
The idea was then to replicate these groundbreaking designs to house soldiers returning from World War II. Thirty-six model homes were designed by stars of the architecture world, but only 24 were actually built—including this prime example.
Also known as the Bailey House, the innovative design is essentially a simple 1,280-square-foot, two-bedroom, two-bath, one-story box with a flat roof. It's a savvy use of steel and glass that's deceptively simple. The residence manages to look just as modern and groundbreaking today as it did in the '50s.
The front of the house and carport are opaque, keeping it private from the street. The back of the home is open and showcases floor-to-ceiling glass, which creates a melding of indoor and outdoor space. Reflecting pools add to the serene feeling.
The home was considered “a success visually as well as functionally,” according to the L.A. Conservancy. But over the decades, after the original owners moved out, the home's design became obscured by ill-advised changes to the interior, including skylights, a fireplace, a kitchen renovation, and '90s-era monstrosities like wide-grout ceramic floor tiles.
In 1997, the current owner purchased the home and brought Koenig back to restore the structure to its original glory. The improvements and restorations were completed a year later.
A modern-focused buyer with a few million to spare can now reap the reward of Koenig's second pass at the home and live in an iconic structure that carries a rare pedigree.
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Claudine Zap is a writer who covers a wide array of topics, including home, entertainment, travel, food, art, and culture.
Related topics:californiaCase Study HouseLos Angeles CAMid-Century Modern
Pierre Koenig’s Case Study House 21 (Bailey House), widely regarded as one of modernism’s most iconic houses, is now for sale. Located in Hollywood Hills, the two-bedroom, two-bathroom home is best known for its groundbreaking design aspects and coinciding materials.
Steel and glass were the main industrial materials used in building the house, as to keep the structure simple, yet obtaining complexity in plan and organization. The materials and design details in turn come together in perfect harmony, showcased through the balance between the interior and exterior. Such was accomplished by the implementation of terraces, water, glazing, and skylights.
The exterior of the home is captivated by a 60-foot swimming pool that frames the steel facade on the east, as another pool extends towards the covered carport. The roof then welcomes steel decking, while the main entry of the house is highlighted by an all-glass north wall.
Case Study House 21 was originally built in 1958 and has since been restored in 1998. In December of 2006, the house was sold at auction for an estimated $2.5 million USD to $3.5 million USD.
The house is up for sale once again, as you can learn more here.
For another example of architectural excellence, take a look at this stunning Singapore villa that perfectly balances indoor and outdoor living.