Case Study House 21

Visit the Case Study House 21 website here.

Seomi International is located at the historic Case Study House 21 or The Bailey House designed by Pierre Koenig in 1959. 

In early 1957 psychologist Walter Bailey and his wife Mary commissioned Pierre Koenig to design a 1,200-1,300 square foot house upon a level site nestled within a Hollywood Hills canyon. The Bailey’s were later described in Arts & Architecture magazine as a “contemporary-minded” couple with no children and an informal lifestyle. This represented the ideal program for Koenig to realize steel framings potential to achieve a truly open plan design that capitalized upon the vast spans that steel facilitated.

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By May 1958 Koenig had completed his construction drawings and begun collaboration with factories that were capable of producing the prefabricated steelbents. The bulk of construction took place from August to November of the same year, and by January 1959 the house was officially completed. 

In February 1959 Case Study House 21 was published in Arts & Architecture and was lauded as “some of the cleanest and most immaculate thinking in the development of the small contemporary house.” As was standard for all CSHP participants, the house was opened to the public for several weeks of viewing.

A year later in 1960, a photographer named Julius Shulman (himself a Case Study client) was invited to photograph the Bailey House. The photographs he took would later become iconic symbols of California Modernism. As one article for L’Uomo Vogue described, Shulman’s architectural photographs of Case Study House #21 and #22 have “an enduring resonance and iconic power. Taken on the eve of America’s involvement in Vietnam they record the last glorious moments of American post-war hegemony and self-confidence and its unquestioned belief in the benefits of progress and technology.”