Bailey House, Case Study House No. 21
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Architect Pierre Koenig
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Location Los Angeles, California   map
Date 1956 to 1958   timeline
Building Type house
 Construction System steel frame and flat roof deck
Climate hot, dry
Context suburban
Style Modern
Notes Bailey House, a Case Study House. Simple and frank use of industrial construction techniques to elegant effect.


Photo, exterior looking in

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Aerial view of Bailey House, Case Study House No. 21

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Detail Drawing

Detail Drawing




Plan Drawing

Plan Drawing

Site Plan Drawing

Plan Drawing

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Discussion Bailey House, Case Study House No. 21 Commentary

"...The site for CSH #21 is a level building pad in the hills with a sweeping view to the south. The orientation of glazed walls is north and south, with solid walls on the east and west. The basic design element of the plan is an island core of division between the living area and the two bedrooms. By disengaging the baths from the exterior walls and facing them onto a court, the curtain walls were simplified.

"The house, surrounded completely by pools, introduces a new concept in making water an integral structure and landscape element. Brick terraces, spanning the pools, lead to the living areas, and the terraces add another plane and texture to the interplay between water and structure. During the hot months the water is pumped hydraulically from the pool to the roof gutter to fall through the scuppers and circulate and aerate the pool.

"The house is a series of 10- by 22-foot bays 9 feet high; each frame is composed of an 8-inch I-beam, floor channel and three 4-inch wide flange columns. The frames were shop- fabricated and delivered to the site in one piece. The two exterior bays came shop-equipped with a 4-inch channel which tied into the columns at sill height..."

—from Esther McCoy. Case Study Houses 1945-1962. p117-118.

The Creator's Words

"Industry has not learned the difference between what is beautiful in its simplicity and what is ugly although equally simple...."

"The pressure is so great that the architect is a captive. He functions best as a free agent."

—Pierre Koenig. from Esther McCoy. Case Study Houses 1945-1962. p118.


9036 Wonderland Park Avenue, Los Angeles

size of lot: 110 by 160 feet
area of house: 1320 square feet
one story; 4 rooms: living room, kitchen, 2 bedrooms, 2 baths
material: steel decking, steel frame

Sources on Bailey House, Case Study House No. 21

"Classic Home 042", by ArchitectureWeek, ArchitectureWeek No. 125, 2002.1204, pH1.

Esther McCoy. Case Study Houses. Los Angeles: Hennessey & Ingalls, 1977. NA7235.C2M2 1977. ISBN 0-912158-70-0. LC 77-14499. drawing of gutter detail, p129. drawing of plan, p120. drawing of typical wall section detail, p129. [MW]

Esther McCoy. Case Study Houses 1945-1962. Second Edition. Los Angeles: Hennessey & Ingalls, Inc., 1977. ISBN 0-9121158-70-0. LC 77-14499. NA7235.C2M2 1977. discussion, p117.

Peter Gossel and Gabriele Leuthauser. Architecture in the Twentieth Century. Germany: Benedikt Taschen Verlag GmbH & Co., 1991. ISBN 3-8228-0550-5. exterior photos, p218, 219. interior photo, p219. exterior photo with pool, p219. interior photo of kitchen, p219.

James Steele, David Jenkins. Pierre Koenig. London: Phaidon Press Limited, 1998. ISBN 0-7148-3753-9. p48 to p59, discussion, drawings, photos. — Elegant, inspiring, and comprehensive on Koenig. Beautiful photographs! Available at

Photos courtesy of Pierre Koenig, FAIA. PCD.2285.1013.1265.32. PCD.2285.1013.1265.34. PCD.2285.1013.1265.35. plan drawing, PCD.2285.1013.1265.27. PCD.2285.1013.1265.28, aerial perspective with site. perspective of living room and bedroom, PCD.2285.1013.1265.29. perspective through entry bridge, PCD.2285.1013.1265.30. interior perspective of bathroom/utility passage, PCD.2285.1013.1265.31.

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at  Find books about Bailey House, Case Study House No. 21


Web Resources
Links on Bailey House, Case Study House No. 21

Pierre Koenig Web Site — at USC, with photos and links.

Bailey House, Case Study House No. 21 at ArchiplanetFind, add, and edit info at the all-buildings collaboration

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