PIERRE FRANCIS KOENIG, FAIA (1925-2004)
Pierre Koenig was born in San Francisco and his family moved to Los Angeles in 1939. After attended the University of Utah in Engineering, he served in the Army from 1943-1946 then attended Pasadena City College, and USC-LA, graduating in 1952. He apprenticed with Raphael Soriano; Edward Fickett; Kistner, Wright and Wright; and Jones and Emmons. He established a private design practice in 1952 and was known for exposed steel-and-glass buildings. While in practice, he taught at the USC School of Architecture for 40 years. He was named both Distinguished Alumni and Distinguished Professor at USC in 1998. Structural engineer William Porush was Koenig's frequent (and necessary) partner for these innovative steel buildings; later it was Dimitry Vergun. He married Merry Thompson in 1953 and they had one son, Randy; married Gaile Carson and they had one daughter, Jean Pierre; married Gloria Kaufman in 1985. Research by Catherine Westergaard Cramer.
1950 - The Pierre Koenig House #1, 2002 Los Encinos Avenue, Glendale CA. 1000 square feet. Also built by Koenig. Structural Engineer, William Porush. According to son Randy Koenig, it was disassembled in the early 1970s for the expansion of the Glendale 2 Freeway. It's unknown what happened to the parts.
1953 - The Edward Lamel House, 1884 Los Encinos Avenue, Glendale CA. 1200 square feet. Structural Engineer: William Porush. Sold to William Walsh. Sold in 1989 to Jessie and Matthew Clemente who still owned it as of 2012. Bottom photo by Michael Locke.
1953 - The Squire House, 5323 Palm Drive, La Cañada Flintridge CA. Structural Engineer: William Porush. Sold in 1988 to Chris Campbell. Sold in 1998 to the Joseph A. Schier Family Trust. Underwent renovations and alterations including covered formerly exposed ribbed-steel ceilings, the open carport enclosed into a garage, and an added a third bathroom. Preserved original features of note include wood cabinetry, a full-height masonry fireplace, stone tile flooring, and colorful bathroom tile and fixtures. For sale in 2020. Bottom three photos by Michael Locke.
1953 - The Edwin M. and Aurora Scott House, 10300 Haines Canyon Avenue, Tujunga CA. 1250 sf interior; 816 sf covered porch. Engineered and built by William Porush. Sold for the first time in 2014 to Nikolaus Kraemer and Heather van Haaften who did a restoration. Available for short term rental. Bottom two photos by Michael Locke.
1957 - The H. E. Burwash House, 9520 Amoret Drive, Tujunga CA. 1250 sf. Structural Engineer: William Porush. Built by James Stottemeyer. Sold to Treesa Drury. Sold in 1996 to Juan and Beth Cristales who still owned it as of 2012.
1958 - The Walter C. and Mary Bailey Residence, aka Case Study House #21, 9038 Wonderland Park Avenue, Los Angeles CA. At 1320 sf, it was built for $20,000. According to Koenig's son, Randy, Walter Bailey was a black former football player; his wife was a psychologist. Structural engineer: William Porush. Built by Pat Hamilton. The two-bedroom structure is balanced by five pools. Sold to Dan Craccioli. Koenig oversaw a complete renovation in 1998. Sold in 1999 to Michael LaFetra. Sold to Mark Haddawy. Sold at auction in 2006 to Song W. Hong and Seomi Gallery. Deeded in 2012 to Antway Corporation, controlled by Song Hong. Sold in 2019 to Raye White and Allison Sarofim. Renovation by Mark Haddawy.
1958 - The Arnold Metcalf House, 7958 Silver Lake, Los Angeles CA. Structural engineer was William Porush. 2600 square feet. Unbuilt.
1959 - The Paul and Louise Veneklasen Renovation, 2179 Mandeville Canyon Road, Los Angeles CA. Original house designed by Kenneth Lind. Renovation built by Tom Seidel. Sold in 1960 to Fred and Ellen Hoffman. 1961 renovation by Josef van der Kar, built by Sanford Williams. Sold in 2018 to Olive Ohaha Properties LLC. Bottom photo by Michael Locke.
1960 - The Clarence H. (Buck) and Carlotta Gates Stahl House, aka Case Study House #22, 1636 Woods Drive, Los Angeles CA. It is Koenig's most well-known house. 2600 square feet plus 1500 square feet in covered areas. William Porush was the structural engineer. A crew of five completed framing in one day. Interiors by Van Kepple Green. Robert J. Brady was the builder. The Stahls could not get financing because of the unusual design; they ended up turning to architect Paul Williams and the Black-owned Broadway Federal Savings and Loan for a mortgage.
As of 2021 still in the Stahl family. This is the West Coast's most famous Modernist house and has been the scene of many television shows and feature films including Visual Acoustics. Open to the public for tours. Bottom three photos by Elizabeth Daniels.
1960 - The Tom Seidel and Jean Hagen House, 2727 Mandeville Canyon Road, Los Angeles CA. Structural Engineer: William Porush. Sold to Della and Gary Rolle, who had Koenig add a second story in 1984 plus a second renovation in 1995. For both renovations, the structural engineer was Dimitry Vergun and the contractor was R. G. West. As of 2012 still owned by the Rolle family. Bottom photo by Michael Locke.
1961 - The Tom Seidel and Jean Hagen Beach House, 42560 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu CA. Built by the owner. Renovated by Busch Design in 2006. Sold around 2016 to Sandi Stewart and Barnet Bain.
1961 - The Francis and Larry Beidleman House, 1050 Hanley Drive, Los Angeles CA. Koenig developed two schemes for the house. None were built. Another house was built at 1052, the same lot readdressed, in 1965 by Palm Springs architect William "Bill" Mader. Interestingly enough, Larry and Francis bought a home in 1964 at 17122 Nanette Street, Granada Hills, an Eichler home! For sale for the first time in 2016, this is from the real estate ad at the time: "Originally looking into building their own home in Brentwood with the help of Case Study architect Pierre Koenig, Frances noticed signs for a modern community, just North off of the 405 fwy. Larry and Frances drove up to see these modern tract homes and instantly they agreed they have found a place to call home. They have lived here ever since, but now the time has come for someone new to discover this hidden gem in the Valley."
1961 - The Jeromett (Gerry) A. and Robert Willhelm House, 1355 North Bundy Drive, Los Angeles CA. 1800 sf. William Porush was the structural engineer. Built by Seidel Associates. Sold to John Huncke in 1990. Sold to Peter Cramer in 1994. Sold in 2004 to Allan Cramer who still owned it as of 2012. Bottom photo by Michael Locke.
1961 - Prefab Houses in St. Jean, Quebec, Canada.
1962 - The Elizabeth and Cyrus Johnson House, 54 La Rancheria, Carmel Valley CA. 3800 square feet. Structural Engineer was William Porush. Built by Charles Strathmeyer. Sold to Cynthia and Fred Riebe who had Koenig do a 1990-1995 restoration and carport addition, bottom two photos. Interiors by Cynthia Riebe. Structural Engineer: Dimitry Vergun. Built by Robert Roux. Landscape design by Garrett Eckbo. Featured in GA Houses 54. As of 2012 still owned by the Riebes. Photos by Julius Shulman and Juergen Nogai.
1962 - The Oberman House, 5200 Crestwind Drive, renumbered to 24 Crestwind Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes CA. 1810 sf. William Porush was the structural engineer. Built by Oberman. This was Koenig's only all-glass house. Sold to Robert Schillhahn. Sold in 1988 to John W. Williams. Sold in 1994 to Geoffrey Wainwright. Sold to the Grielje Van Dyk and Wainwright Trust. Over time, Koenig's design has been unfortunately altered, removing much glass and adding a pitch roof, bottom photo.
1963 - The Richard and Viki Iwata House, 912 Summit Place, Monterey Park CA. 12,000 square feet. Structural Engineer, William Porush. Built by Colletta and Edgle. Altered 1976. Sold in 2014 to Hsiu-Hua Wang and Kai-Win Chuang. Bottom photo by Michael Locke.
1963 - The Alice and Bob Beagles House, 17446 Revello Drive, Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles CA. Structural Engineer, William Porush. Built by Bruce Koch. Deeded to the Beagles Trust.
1966 - The Harold and Martha Henbest House, aka Henbest/Birkett House, 7127 Crest Road, Rancho Palos Verdes CA. Mostly unaltered over the years, includes terrazzo, polished brick and concrete flooring; radiant floor heating; walnut cabinetry and paneling; and built-in buffet. Overlooks the ocean. Top photo by Michael Locke. Sold in 2002 to Jeffrey Vanetek. Sold in 2009 to Jeffrey Pitt. Sold in 2011 to Stephen and Elizabeth Birkett, who did a renovation designed by architect Robert Sweet, bottom two photos. Sold in 2018 to Stephen and Anne Ubi. For sale in 2020.
1970 - The Sam West House, 125 Seawind Avenue, Vallejo CA. 3600 sf. Structural Engineer, William Porush. Built by Carquinez Builders. West passed away before he could move in. Eventually, the house was destroyed and the land claimed as right-of-way by a utility company.
1976 - The Chemehuevi Prefab Housing Tract, Lake Havasu CA.
1979 - The Christy and Ferrell Burton III House, aka Pole House, 31371 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu CA. 2400 square feet total. The structural engineer was Tom Harris.
1983 - The Michael Gantert House, 6431 La Punta, Los Angeles CA. 1800 sf. Structural Engineer, Dimitry Vergun. Built by the owner. Sold to John Lugar. Sold to Gina Wendkos in 1989. Sold to Bill and Amy Rose in 2003. Sold to Leland Russ in 2005. Remodeled 2005 with Billy Rose Design. Sold to Ehren S. Kruger in 2012.
1984 - The Eiko and Frank Stuermer House, Alina Place, Kaneohe, Oahu HI. 2700 square feet. Structural Engineer: Dimitry Vergun. Unbuilt.
1985 - The Pierre and Gloria Koenig House #2, 12221 Dorothy Street, Los Angeles CA. 3,000 square feet with a 600-square-foot carport. Built by Koenig. Structural engineer, Dimitry Vergun. Deeded to the Koenig Trust. Featured in GA Houses 44. Sold in 2017 to Adam and Maria Bustria Glickman. Top photo by Michael Locke.
1994 - The Martin Schwartz House, 444 Sycamore Road, Santa Monica CA. 2700 square feet. Koenig designed a basement addition completed in 1996. This was Koenig's last design built in his lifetime. Built by R. G. West. Structural engineer, Dimitry Vergun; mechanical, Zeilich Uber. Featured in GA Houses 44. For sale in 2021.
1998 - aka Laguna Project, Laguna CA. 3000 square feet. Builder: R. G. West. Featured in GA Houses 52. Unsure if built.
2001 - The Jeffrey Ressner Renovation and Addition, 12217 Dorothy Street, Los Angeles CA. Adjacent to Koenig House II. Sold in 2018 to the Rina Echavez Living Trust. Bottom photo by Michael Locke.
2003 - The Vida Tarassoly and Mohsen Mehran House, lot 131 between 31427 and 31508 Anacapa View, Malibu CA. 4500 square feet. Structural Engineer: Rubicon Engineering. James Tyler was supposed to finish the house after Koenig died but it did not get built.
2003 - The H. Winters House, Dallas TX. Unbuilt. 2000 square feet.
2012 - The Michael LaFetra Beach House, 6525 Point Lechuza, Malibu CA. Commissioned 2000. Koenig was working on it for LaFetra when Koenig died. After many years, the house was finished by architect James Tyler. 4080 square feet. Structural Engineer: Ficcadenti & Waggoner. Sold in 2018 to Jeffrey Fish, the developer behind a 53-story tower planned near Pershing Square in Los Angeles. For sale in 2021. Top photo by Michael LaFetra; bottom photo by Elizabeth Daniels.
Sources include: Cynthia Riebe; Randy Koenig; Koenig by Neil Jackson; Michael LaFetra.