‘Case Study’ Architect Pierre Koenig’s Own Modernist House Is Selling for Nearly $5 Million
The personal Los Angeles residence of Pierre Koenig—a mid-century architect behind some of the city’s iconic Case Study Houses, including one of the most recognizable homes in the U.S.—has hit the market for $4.995 million.
“Pierre Koenig is one of the greatest architects of our time and created the most photographed home in Los Angeles, the Stahl House, so to own his residence is a trophy unto itself,” said Dalton Gomez of Christie’s International RE | AKG, who is handling the sale of the property with colleague Aaron Kirman.
Koenig built the steel home—historically archived as “Koenig House No. 2” by the L.A. Conservancy—for himself and his wife, Gloria, in 1985. Staggered over three-levels, the light-filled three-bedroom residence has an open floor plan with rooms that either flow together or are divided by glass walls. At its center is a three-story atrium, crisscrossed by walkways and staircases that connect the two sides of the upper floors.
The house “is extremely unique because of the all-metal infrastructure,” Gomez said.
“The bedrooms open up to the living space, which then opens to the courtyard, which gives the home this type of jewelry-box feel,” Gomez said. “The front room was used as [Koenig’s] office,” he added, and the space is still intact. “It’s interesting to think what properties and work he created in that office.”
For potential buyers, the most appealing part of the home could be that “it comes with bragging rights that it was chosen by Pierre to be the space he lived and created in for so many years,” he said.
The house remained in Koenig’s family for some time after his death, and was restored by his stepchildren. It last changed hands in 2017 for $3.46 million. The owners couldn’t be reached for comment.
Koenig, who was also a professor of architecture at the University of Southern California, died in 2004 at the age of 78. His “sleek glass-and-steel houses became emblems of the progressive values of Postwar suburbia,” the Los Angeles Times wrote in his obituary.
He was integral in the creation of the city’s Case Study Houses, which were experiments in American residential architecture sponsored by the now-defunct Arts & Architecture magazine.
Prominent architects like Koenig, along with Charles and Ray Eames, A. Quincy Jones and Ralph Rapson, were challenged to design and build replicable, inexpensive and efficient model homes as the U.S faced a housing boom caused by the return of millions of soldiers following the end of World War II.
Koenig’s Case Study House No. 21, the Bailey House, and No. 22, the Stahl House, are possibly the most famous of them all.
The Stahl House, which in 2013 was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was built in 1959 and has since been the backdrop in numerous fashion shoots, films, and advertising campaigns. It was made famous by a Julius Shulman photograph showing two women relaxing in a corner of the house with a panoramic view of the city through the floor-to-ceiling glass walls behind them.