The Case Study House program (1945-1966) was a unique event in the history of American architecture. Sponsored by Arts & Architecture magazine, the program sought to respond to the postwar building boom with prototype modern homes that could be both easily replicated and readily affordable to the average American.
Concentrated on the Los Angeles area, the Case Study Houses included 36 model homes commissioned from such major architects of the day as Richard Neutra, Raphael Soriano, Craig Ellwood, Charles and Ray Eames, Pierre Koenig, Eero Saarinen, A. Quincy Jones, and Ralph Rapson. Their criteria included “using, as far as is practicable, many war-born techniques and materials best suited to the expression of man’s life in the modern world.”
The results of the program would redefine the modern home and extend influence not only across the United States but around the world. This compact guide includes all of the Case Study Houses with over 150 photos and plans, as well as a map showing locations of all sites, including those that no longer exist.
About the series
Born back in 1985, the Basic Art Series has evolved into the best-selling art book collection ever published. 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)
About the Author
Elizabeth A. T. Smith is Executive Director of the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, based in New York. Previously, she was Executive Director, Curatorial Affairs, at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto; Chief Curator and Deputy Director of Programs at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, and Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. While at LA MOCA she curated the 1989 exhibition Blueprints for Modern Living: History and Legacy of the Case Study Houses. She has curated, published, and lectured widely on a variety of topics in contemporary art and architecture.
Peter Gössel runs an agency for museum and exhibition design. He has published TASCHEN monographs on Julius Shulman, R. M. Schindler, John Lautner, and Richard Neutra, as well as several titles in the Basic Architecture series.