The Case Study House Program
By: Date: June 9, 2021 Categories: Real Estate,Uncategorized Tags:
the-case-study-house-program

Scenes from the new showroom of Herman Miller which shows classic designs by Charles and Ray Eames,

Scenes from the new showroom of Herman Miller which shows classic designs by Charles and Ray Eames, … [+] in Culver City, Ca., Oct. 1, 2009. (Photo by Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The Case Study House Program’s vision belonged to Los Angeles-based Arts & Architecture magazine Editor John Entenza.

Entenza sponsored and publicized some design competitions in the magazine and emphasized modern, affordable, easily built houses.

He announced the Case Study House Program’s launch in the January 1945 issue of Arts & Architecture magazine. He envisioned the program to solve the problem of housing shortages and anticipated the coming building boom that would follow War World II and the Depression.

The front side of the Eames House Case Study #8 designed by archictects Charles and Ray Eames in

The front side of the Eames House Case Study #8 designed by architects Charles and Ray Eames in … [+] Pacific Palisades. June 30, 2005. (Photo by Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

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A 1937 Harwell Harris house has a Streamline Moderne exterior with a white curved porte cochere in … [+] front (wide enough for the original owner, powerful architecture magazine editor John Entenza s 1925 Ford) and a round bedroom wall in back overlooking Santa Monica Canyon. Peter Rabitz, a co–worker visiting from Germany, enjoys the view into the canyon on a recent visit. (Photo by Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

 A 1937 Harwell Harris house has a Streamline Moderne exterior with a white curved porte cochere in front (wide enough for the original owner, powerful architecture magazine editor John Entenza's 1925 Ford).

A 1937 Harwell Harris house has the porte cochere at left and entrance to house at right. (Photo by … [+] Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The goal of the program was for each architect to create a home “capable of duplication and in no sense being an individual performance,” Entenza said in his announcement.

“It is important that the best materials available be used in the best possible way in order to arrive at a good solution of each problem, which in the overall program will be general enough to be of practical assistance to the average American in search of a home in which he can afford to live in,” he noted.

Architect Pierre Koenig designed two of the iconic Modernist houses in Los Angeles in the 1950's kno

Architect Pierre Koenig designed two of the iconic Modernist houses in Los Angeles in the 1950s … [+] known as Case Study House 21 and 22. Drawing of one of Koenig’s designs. (Photo by Anacleto Rapping/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The Case Study House Program served as a model for post-war living, providing the public and the building industry an opportunity to access affordable, mid-century modernism and simple designs.

Floor-to-ceiling glass, steel frames, horizontal lines, modular components, open-floor plans and multi-purpose rooms were all elements of the Case Study’s take on modernism. The furnished projects provided places for owners to enjoy a family-friendly home with public and private spaces to relax, watch TV, listen to music and entertain, merging indoor and outdoor worlds with walls of steel and glass to allow ample light.

Initially, Entenza invited Richard Neutra, Charles Eames, Eero Saarinen and five other architects to submit prototypes and planned that all eight houses would be open to the public until they were occupied. The project was ambitious. The Eames and Entenza houses were designed in 1945 but not completed until 1949. Still, the Case Study program was so successful that it ran until 1966 and saw 350,000 visitors tour the open homes before clients took up residence.

Architect Pierre Koenig designed two of the iconic Modernist houses in Los Angeles in the 1950's kno

Architect Pierre Koenig designed two of the iconic Modernist houses in Los Angeles in the 1950s … [+] known as Case Study House 21 and 22. Photos of Pierre and Gloria Koenig main living room inside their West Los Angeles home which Pierre designed. (Photo by Anacleto Rapping/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Twenty homes remain today, but 36 experimental prototypes, many unbuilt, documenting new ideas and residential designs, appeared in the magazine.

The majority of the homes were built in Southern California; some are located in San Diego and Northern California; a group of Case Study apartments was built in Phoenix.

Many architects such as Ray and Charles Eames, Saarinen, Craig Ellwood and Pierre Koenig became icons of modernism and earned international followings. The Case Study Houses launched the reputations of local architects such as Thornton Bell, Whitney R. Smith and Rodney Walker.

ArtsandarchitectureArts & Architecture: Case Study House Program Introduction

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