Stahl House or Case Study House No. 22

Added by Xsusha Flandro, last update: August 17, 2012, 1:25 pm

Stahl House or Case Study House No. 22
1636 Woods Drive
West Hollywood, CA 90069
United States
34° 6' 1.656" N, 118° 22' 12.8244" W
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Identity of Building / Site
Primary classification: Residential (RES)
Secondary classification:
Federal, State, or Local Designation(s) and Date(s):

Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument List as a city declared monument, November 9,1999

History of Building/Site
Original Brief:

The Case Study House #22 was built in 1959-1960 in the hills of West Hollywood California. The architect was Pierre Koenig. The Case Study House program was an experiment in residential architecture, sponsored by the "Arts and Architecture" Magazine. The program ran from 1945 to 1966. Case Study House #22 was built for CH Stahl and his wife Charlotta. They commissioned the project, but materials were bought with discounts supplied to the program from local vendors, the total cost of the house came to 35,000 USD (including the furniture). The Stahl house was a residential engineering feat because it is cantilevered over the rocky hillside that it is built on, and at the time it was one of the first houses in West Hollywood to be built using a steel frame. The house has since been featured in many Hollywood films and was made famous by the photograph of the house that photographer Julius Shulman took shortly after its completion.

Dates: Commission / Completion:C.H. Stahl and Charlotta Stahl/ Completed in 1960
Architectural and other Designer(s): Engineer: William Porush. General Contractor: Robert Brady. Interior designer: Van Kepple Green.
Others associated with Building/Site: Julius Shulman- Architectural Photographer. Cynthia Tindle & Ann Lightbody (the two young women in Shulman's photograph).
Significant Alteration(s) with Date(s): None that are listed
Current Use: Residential house which can be rented out for films, tours, photoshoots and other events.
Current Condition: Standing in good condition
General Description:

A one story, four rooms, living-dinning room, kitchen, 2 bedrooms, 2 baths. House is 2300 square feet and is on a lot that is 81 feet by 123 feet.

Construction Period:

Steel decking and steel frame

Original Physical Context:

Rocky,slopping, hillside lot in a residential area that overlooks Hollywood.

Technical Evaluation:

It was one of the first residential houses in California to use a steel frame. Pierre Koenig was given an award by the American Iron & Steel Institute for the use of structural steel in a private resident construction.


Has been featured in numerous films and was made famous by architectural photographer Julius Schulman who was hired by "Arts and Architecture" Magazine to photograph the Case Study Houses for the publication. The house was part of the Case Study House program by "Arts and Architecture" Magazine. The house had to be built with minimal cost and the plans, cost and designs were published in the magazine. Case House #22 was published in the following issues: March 1957, May 1959, February 1960, June 1960.

Cultural & Aesthetic:
Time line of imagery of the house: 1959-May, Drawings for the house are published in "Arts & Architecture Magazine". 1960-February, "Arts & Architecture" publishes the house under construction. 1960, Monday April 25- Julius Schulman shoots his famous photograph of the house, featuring two young woman sitting in the house. 1960- June, "Arts & Architecture" publishes the house in its completed state. 1962-April, the house is feature in the film "Smog". 1965-October, the house is feature in the film "The Loved One". 1969-The AIA awards Schulman the Gold Medal for Architectural Photography. 1989-Case Study House #22 was reconstructed inside of the Museum of Contemporary Art in California, for an exhibition. 1991- April, The house is featured in the film "The Marrying Man". 1998- August, The House is featured in the film "Why Do Fools Fall in Love?". 1999-January, The house is featured in the film "Playing by Heart". 1999-December, The house is featured in the film "Galaxy Quest". 2000-September, The house is feature in the film "Nurse Betty". 2003- June, The house is feature in the film "Charlies Angels: Full Throttle".

On February 7, 2007, the American Institute of Architects listed the Stahl House/Case Study House #22 as #140 on their list of most beloved U.S. buildings.

General Assessment:
The house has been an iconic image of post World War II housing in the United States.
Text references:

"Arts & Architecture" Magazine:March 1957, May 1959, February 1960, June 1960.
"The Modern Steel House" by Neil Jackson, 1996, pages 85-102.
"Case Study Houses: 1945-62" by Esther McCoy, 2nd edition, 1977.
Los Angeles Times "Design of Hillside Home Challenges Architect" June 26, 1960.
LA Magazine interview by Mary Multon "Making of an Icon" 2001.
"Case Study Houses" by Elizabeth Smith, 2006.
"Pierre Koenig" by James Steel and David Jenkins, 1998.

Recorder/Date: March 2, 2008.
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