“If I bring to mind what, for me, are some of the iconic images of twentieth-century architecture ... there is one image which burns more brightly and stays on the retina just that bit longer.
“I am thinking, of course, of the heroic night-time view of Pierre Koenig’s Case Study House #22 which seems so memorably to capture the whole spirit of late twentieth-century architecture.... If I had to choose one snapshot, one architectural moment, of which I would like to have been the author, this is surely it...
“Pierre Koenig himself, like his architecture, is inspirational: still enquiring, exploring and inventing, never ready to rest on his laurels.”

— Norman Foster, 1998
(from the foreword to Pierre Koenig)

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The Master Builder as Teacher


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Mad about Modernism? Then check out Pierre Koenig (Phaidon Press Ltd., 1998) by James Steele and David Jenkins. The first volume to compile Koenig’s pioneering work, this coffee-table tome gives unparalleled insight into the evolution of Modernism on the West Coast.
A leading figure in the movement, Koenig built his first exposed steel house in 1950 while still a student — proving that the use of prefabricated materials could allow for spatial freedom in affordable housing. In 1957, he was chosen by Arts and Architecture magazine to design Case Study Houses #21 and #22, two of the most innovative buildings in the program.
Authors James Steele, an associate professor of architecture at USC, and David Jenkins, a London architect at Kingston School of Architecture, offer up a complete study of Koenig’s career in this profusely illustrated volume. They examine Koenig’s dedicated application of specific design and structural principles, his interest in industrialization, and his belief in environmentally and socially responsible design.
The book is divided into three sections — “Toward a Steel Architecture,” “The Style That Nearly” and “Blueprint for Modern Living” — and juxtaposes photo-graphs of Koenig’s structures, taken by noted architectural photographer Julius Shulman, with original sketches and technical drawings.






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