Beautiful Stahl House

STAHL HOUSE, COMPLETED IN 13 MONTHS AND COSTING $37,500, FURTHER DEMONSTRATED PIERRE KOENIG’S FLAIR FOR WORKING WITH INDUSTRIAL MATERIALS, PARTICULARLY STEEL, GLASS, AND CONCRETE

Stahl-Landscape1-The image is instantly familiar; the house, all dramatic angles, concrete, steel and glass, perched indelibly above Los Angeles, with Hollywood’s lights resembling a circuit board below it. Inside, two women sit, stylish and relaxed, talking casually behind the monumental floor to ceiling glass walls. One of the world’s most iconic photographs, Julius Schulman’s Case Study 22 beautifully captures the optimism of 1950s Los Angeles, and the striking beauty of architect Pierre Koenig’s masterpiece, Stahl House. The classic L shaped pavilion, cantilevered above Hollywood on Woods Drive, was built in 1959 after being adopted into the Case Study Program, an experimental residential design initiative that commissioned architects to create model homes in the wake of the 1950s housing boom. Stahl House, also known as No. 22, was the wild one, conjured up by the man who purchased the plot of land at 1635 Woods Drive in 1954 for $13,500 and sealed the deal with a handshake. C H ‘Buck’ Stahl was a dreamer, who, along with his wife Carlotta, set about finding the right person to bring his vision for an innovative and thoroughly modern home to life.

Stahl-portrait1-chairstahl_portrait2-pool.jpgBuck was a former professional footballer who worked as a graphic designer and sign painter. He spent his first few years as a landowner hauling broken blocks of concrete to the site in attempt to improve its precarious foundation. He and Carlotta ferried their finds, load by load, back to Woods Drive in the back of Buck’s Cadillac, hopeful the reinforcements would prevent the land from sliding. Buck’s dreams for the house began to take shape over the following two years, and eventually, he made a model of the future Stahl House. His grand designs, however, were promptly rejected by several notable architects.

Stahl-Landscape2-view.jpgCarlotta recalled Buck continually telling prospective architects “I don’t care how you do it, there’s not going to be any walls in this wing.” Until they hired Pierre Koenig in 1957, an ambitious young architect determined to build on a site nobody would touch, it seemed unlikely the house would ever exist. Pierre described the process of building Stahl House as “trying to solve a problem – the client had champagne tastes and a beer budget.” He was interested in working with steel, and despite being warned away from it by his architecture instructors, possessed great aptitude for it. He’d experimented with a number of exposed glass and steel homes before he created Case Study 21, or The Bailey House in 1958 and 1959, and his skill for designing functional spaces with simplicity of form, abundant natural light, and elegant lines would eventually make him a master of modernism. Stahl House, completed in 13 months and costing 37,500 USD, further demonstrated Pierre’s flair for working with industrial materials, particularly steel, glass, and concrete. The project put him on the map as an architect with an incredible eye for balance, symmetry, and restraint. The 2,040 m² house was, as Buck insisted, built without walls in the main wing to allow for sweeping 270º views. Three sides of the building were made of plate glass, unheard of in the late 1950s, and deemed dangerous by engineers and architects. This design feature required Pierre to source the largest pieces of glass available for residential use at the time. With two bedrooms, two bathrooms, polished concrete floors, and a very famous swimming pool (a fixture in countless films and fashion editorials) Stahl House was an immediate mid century icon.

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Although there has been some dispute over Buck’s influence on the design in the years since he died in 2005 and Pierre Koenig’s death in 2004, some experts who have seen Buck’s original model agree that his concept informed the direction the Stahl House would finally take.

“I dismissed it as typical owner hubris at the time,” architect and writer Joseph Giovannini told the Los Angeles Times in 2009. “The gesture of the house cantilevering over the side of the hill into the distant view is clearly here in this model. But it is Pierre’s skill that elevated the idea into a masterpiece. This is one of the rare cases it seems that there is a shared authorship.”

Today, Stahl House is still owned by the Stahl family. Though it remains a magnet for film crews and photographers the world over, for Bruce Stahl, Buck and Carlotta’s son, who grew up there with his siblings, it was simply part of a typical, happy childhood. “We were a blue collar family living in a white collar house,” he said. “Nobody famous ever lived here.”

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Credits: Lucy Brook
Photos: Rick Poon

Beautiful Villa Savoye

AS A MONUMENT TO MODERNISM, THE BUILDING POSSESSES A POETRY AND SENSITIVITY FULL OF IDEALISM. THE CAREFUL COMPOSITION OF LIVING SPACE AND INTENTION TO HARNESS NATURAL LIGHT, NOT TO MENTION THE BUILDING’S ICONIC AESTHETIC, STILL DEFINE MODERN ARCHITECTURE.

villasavoye_landscapeThe Villa Savoye, built in 1929 in Poissy, a rural area outside Paris, was Le Corbusier’s answer to a French country house. Given relatively few constraints by the Savoye family, Le Corbusier designed a building to embody the architectural theory he had evolved in practice and in his book, Towards an Architecture 1923. He was inspired by both the classical forms of ancient Greek architecture and the modern technologies that were shaping the world such as automobiles, airplanes and ocean liners.

villasavoye_landscape2.jpgThis project was the last in a series of private homes known as the ‘white villas’ built by Le Corbusier and his cousin and partner Pierre Jeanneret, which introduced a new form of luxury in which space itself, and its capacity for leisure, were the valuable commodities.

Of these, The Villa Savoye perhaps best embodies Le Corbusier’s architectural manifesto, the five points of architecture. The first, pilotis – slender pillars which raise the building off the ground, opening up more space for gardens and cars, made possible the second, a façade free of its usual load bearing function. Walls were no longer supporting structures but ‘membranes.’ This allowed the unimpaired design of the third, an open plan interior, and the fourth, ribbon windows to flood the interior with maximum light and to illuminate it evenly. A sliding window system patented by Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret was intended to offer superior ventilation, as well as give access to the fifth, a flat roof which could serve as a terrace. A curved solarium crowns the structure, the brightest increment in the layered design. This symbiotic relationship of these five features gives some insight into what could otherwise be a somewhat alienating notion of Le Corbusier’s, the famous concept of a house as ‘a machine for living.’

villasavoye_landscape3-outdoor.jpgUnfortunately the Villa Savoye presented its residents with its own host of problems, despite its pioneering design. Each autumn, as the windows ushered in a warm vista of seasonal colour, the family would write repeatedly to Le Courbusier, begging him to make ‘habitable,’ what proved to be a damp and chilly building. They complained of ‘raining’ in the hall, on the ramp and in the bathroom. The loud drumming of rain on the bathroom skylight kept them awake at night, heat escaped through the long stretches of glazing and the heating system was both insufficient and a further cause of flooding.

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Much of this was perhaps due to the fact that the technology involved was not fully developed at the time. As a monument to Modernism, the building possesses a poetry and sensitivity full of idealism. The careful composition of living space and intention to harness natural light, not to mention the building’s iconic aesthetic, still define modern architecture. Nonetheless, the discomforts they had suffered ultimately led the Savoye family to decide against restoring the property after the 2nd World War, when it was seized by German forces. About to be demolished by the local authorities to make way for a school, the building was rescued by architects and academics including Le Corbusier himself. Now a museum, restored closely to its original state, Villa Savoye is one of 17 of Le Corbusier’s buildings declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Credit: readcereal.com/

Beautiful Rooms For Kids

6F016A03-0525-4791-BCC4-20E52BA8C80CLoving this beautiful blush trend for a kids room. Blush has a softness, a warmth and calmness all in one which is so perfect for a kids room. Blush mixes well with lots of colors, but works best with monochromes, greys and greens. Alternatively, the wall to wall blush color is perfect for a bedroom.

Here are some more blush rooms that showcases beautiful blush:

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If not an all blush room, white and blush make a great combination too. But it doesn’t have to be blush walls with white decorations. Instead, use a white backdrop with lots and lots of blush decor from rugs to baskets to bedding and more. And the white background makes these blush colored decorations pop even more.

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Add some fun and make it a whimsical blush room. The color blush lends itself to so many moods and styles of room. Here blush is complemented with touches of green which is another colour combo that works so well. Loving the moody, magical feel that all the blush decorations help create.

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Blush and grey feels like it’s a match made in heaven! It doesn’t matter what shade of grey you use, from lightest to darkest, it just works so well with blush. Both colors are calming and warm so, together they create a wonderful, inviting space for kids.

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An all blush room can look super stunning by mixing different shades of blush from the palest to much darker tones. The combination of the soft blush bedding against the dark wall – just beautiful.

 

 

Beautiful Interiors

Architect Andreas Martin-Löf resides in one of the stunning Stockholm residences developed with Oscar Properties. The Lyceum developments are the result of an incredible transformation of the historical university buildings into modern and exclusive homes. Andreas’ work and home is featured in My Residence (the international bookazine by Residence magazine), and interestingly, he has become known not only for transforming culturally and historically valuable buildings in Stockholm for the high end market, but also for renewing the quality of Stockholm’s low-cost housing that is so essential in large cities. Here’s a look inside his beautiful home.

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Specially designed in laboratory green, the kitchen is by Swedish cabinet-makers Kvänum. Stools in teak and iron are by Pierre Jeanneret and the pedestal is by Matti Carlson, custom-designed for Martin-Löf’s home. The 1950s style sofa in the living room has been upholstered in specially made fabric by Astrid Textiles, while the armchairs and Kangaroo chairs in teak and rattan are also by Pierre Jeanneret. The table is Travertine and the lamps in this room and the dining area are designed by Andreas Martin-Löf Arkitekter, as part of their Objects Collection.

 

Beautiful Interiors on a Budget

Ikea isn’t for everyone but if you are looking for a soft minimal look without spending a lot, Ikea gets the job done. Some inspiration from Ikea’s blog Livet Hemma (Live at Home) today, with two very different living room looks. The first is a soft minimalism style living room created by Susanne Swegen. Inspired by her love of mixing Japanese and Finnish aesthetics, the space features a soft color scheme and lots of warm wood. The two-toned walls provide a lovely framework for the room, while mirrors are used to play with light and reflections. I absolutely love the recessed desk area with vertical shelving. Such a great use of space!

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The soft pink Söderhamn sofa styled against the raw concrete creates a beautiful contrast of textures in this living room setting.

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Styling by Susanne Swegen  / Photography by Andrea Papini and Emily Layefor Ikea Livet Hemma

Beautiful Thoughts

Some days are easy going and good and somehow we arrive at the end of it a little wiser, happier, or maybe the same but unscathed.  Then there are days we question our very worth and sometimes we don’t even know or understand why we derailed off the happy train. It’s those days that we need the extra kindness of friends and strangers, a smile, an acknowledgement that you are seen and even valued. We need a beautiful sight, a flower, a tree, a child, a beautiful human, something funny, the water or the forest, or at least the memory of such.

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We need to give our smile to someone else because they may be feeling the same and need a little confirmation, a little love, too.  You can never know the complete affect your little act of kindness can have on the world. So today, as easy or as confusing as it may be, I choose to let the universe flow through me as a confirmation that life is beautiful. And,  I vow to let the people I love and the strangers I make eye contact with, feel valued and seen, and acknowledged. So I ask you to just smile at someone, make eye contact and say hi, you just never know!  Let’s be better humans!

Photo taken somewhere on Puget Sound between Kitsap and Seattle