House with a View

architects Katja Žlajpah, Aleš Žnidaršič
project House Katarina, Topol pri Medvodah, Slovenia
written by Aleš Vodopivec


The famous Schulman's photograph of the Stahl House designed by architect Pierre Koenig, which protrudes and hovers over the vast horizon of Los Angeles on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, has become iconic not only because it was the most photographed project of the Case Study Houses programme, but also because its architectural principles and housing quality of the Modernist architecture. Contrary to the traditional massive construction and small windows, its light steel structure with big panoramic glass panels enables unlimited expansion of the interior into the spacious outer area. It is an architectural allegory of the quest for individual freedom. The location on a steep slope was, despite a wonderful view, cheap and not interesting to buyers. The construction seemed so demanding and risky that the bank loan the Stahls had applied for at the beginning of the works was denied.