In this book, Neil Jackson presents a vibrant profile of Los Angeles architect Pierre Koenig, who Time magazine said lived long enough to become “cool twice.” From the influences of Koenig’s youth in San Francisco and his military service during World War II to the Case Study Houses and his later award-laden years, Jackson’s study plots the evolution of Koenig’s oeuvre against the backdrop of Los Angeles.
The book is anchored by Jackson’s exciting discoveries in Koenig’s archive at the Getty Research Institute. Drawings, photographs, diaries, building contracts and more—many of which are being published for the first time—provide an expanded understanding of Koenig and additional context for his architectural achievements. An examination of Koenig’s Case Study Houses shows how he presciently embraced sustainable, ecologically responsible design. A new account of the Chemehuevi housing project in Havasu Lake, California, demonstrates the special role that teaching played in the development of his architecture. Over his fifty-year career, Koenig not only designed iconic houses but also directed their restoration, ensuring that his work could be seen and appreciated by future admirers of midcentury Los Angeles.
Neil Jackson holds the Charles Reilly Chair of Architecture at the University of Liverpool and is president of the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain. This present book, building on his earlier writings on Pierre Koenig, developed from a Guest Scholar residency at the Getty Conservation Institute in 2013.
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