Modern Design with - The Stahl House

The most widely seen photograph epitomizing the mid-century modern southern California lifestyle is of the Stahl House, Case Study House #22, taken by Julius Shulman. As described in our previous blog, the Case Study Houses were commissioned by Arts & Architecture Magazine beginning in 1945, as experiments in modernist design.

Buck and Carlotta Stahl originally purchased the property, on Woods Drive above Sunset Boulevard in the Hollywood Hills, for $13,500 in 1954. Buck was a sign painter and graphic designer who had a vision for the challenging cliff-side piece of land. The couple began terracing the steep slope themselves using scavenged slabs of concrete and safety ropes. The model Stahl had made of his sleek glass and steel design was rejected as undoable by many architects – until the Stahls met Pierre Koenig, an inventive young architect already experimenting with steel construction and cantilevered foundations.

The use of deep overhangs, horizontal lines, and the largest sheets of glass then commercially available achieved the light, soaring effect. Completed in early 1960 for $37,500 dollars the home is 2,200 sq. ft. with 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, swimming pool, and of course the striking panoramic view of Los Angeles below.

Tours of the house are available, info here.

Photos: Julius Shulman