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Case study houses: aka some modernist architecture porn

While writing a piece recently, I was reminded of the 'Case Study' houses, built in California in the 1950s. I'd heard of them but didn't know much about them – and so Googled some images. Which is what brings me to this post. Ohmygod: they are BEAUTIFUL. So it only seemed right to share...

The houses, designed along with the likes of Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen and Richard Neutra, were a bold and experimental approach to architecture at the time – the Case Study programme ran from 1945-1966. The idea was that these 36 prototypes would provide a blueprint for affordable residential builds in the post-war building boom. Their influence on architecture since has been immense.

All images courtesy of Taschen

All these images are extracted from two of Taschen's excellent 25th anniversary series of publications, from 2005, the compact version of Case Study Houses (£8.99) and the XL edition of Case Study Houses (£44.99), by Julius Shulman, Elizabeth AT Smith and Peter Gössel. Below are some spreads from their pages.

The Eames lived in Case Study House no. 8, seen on the two pages above and also a few pictures down, labelled as #8.

The Eames/Saarinen house was no.9. It was up for sale earlier this year – see how it looks today, here.

You might also be interested in Eames: the movie,  which tells the story of the pioneering mid-century design couple. You can read about it here.

This, above, is the exterior of Charles and Ray Eames' own Case Study home.

 Case Study Houses (compact, £8.99) and Case Study Houses (XL, £44.99), by Julius Shulman, Elizabeth AT Smith and Peter Gössel are available on the Taschen website.

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