There are few images of 20th century architecture more iconic than the nighttime view of Case Study House #22 set on its eagle’s-nest site high above the lights of Los Angeles. With his two innovative houses for the famous project of the Arts and Architecture magazine, American architect Pierre Koenig (1925-2004) became one of the leading figures of the Modern movement in America. While still a student of architecture, he designed and built his first exposed steel house in 1950, proving that the use of prefabricated materials could allow for spatial freedom in affordable houses. Koenig’s houses, like the Johnson House (1962) or the Oberman House (1962), are a direct response to Southern California’s extremely warm and dry climate. His work is deeply marked by his commitment to environmentally and socially responsible design. His houses have thus become characteristic of the spirit of a whole generation: they perfectly capture the excitement and optimism of the American postwar society.
Neil Jackson is an architect and architectural historian who has written extensively on modern architecture in California, where he taught between 1985 and 1990. His 2002 book Craig Ellwood won the Sir Banister Fletcher Award in 2003. His study of Pierre Koenig is the result of a long friendship and a mark of respect for a great architect. Jackson currently teaches at the University of Liverpool.
About the series
Each book in TASCHEN’s Basic Architecture series features:
an introduction to the life and work of the architect
the major works in chronological order
information about the clients, architectural preconditions as well as construction problems and resolutions
a list of all the selected works and a map indicating the locations of the best and most famous buildings
approximately 120 illustrations (photographs, sketches, drafts, and plans)