Step Inside Case Study House #9: The Entenza House

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The Entenza House Case Study HouseAll images courtesy of Julius Shulman / J. Paul Getty Trust

The Case Study House Program enlisted world-renowned architects to design innovative, prototypical residences for postwar living in the United States. The homes were intended to emphasize functionality and affordability in order to remain accessible and appeal to mainstream America.

In total, the program resulted in 36 prototypes designed by modernist icons like Richard Neutra, Eero Saarinen, and Charles Eames. Many of the prototypes helped shape how we view modernist design today, including Case Study House #9, designed by Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen.

The Entenza House Case Study House 9 living room

Also known as the Entenza House, Case Study House #9 was introduced in 1945 and built in 1949. It was built as a residence for the initiator of the Case Study House Program, editor John Entenza. Characteristic of modernist architecture, the home combines modular steel construction with an open-concept interior that allows for functional, free-flowing spaces that can easily be customized to the dweller's unique needs and sensibilities.

In fact, almost half of the house comprises a massive living room intended to create a versatile gathering space that can host parties large and small within an intimate setting. This room is thoughtfully divided by a large fireplace and built-in conversation pit, both of which help to create two distinct spaces without sacrificing the fluidity of an open-concept floor plan.

The Entenza House Case Study House 9 fireplace

The living room was also made to feel even bigger thanks to walls of glass that span the entire rear facade, including sliding glass doors connecting the living room to the backyard. This design choice created a harmonious relationship between the steel-frame house and its natural surroundings, beautifully showcasing another key tenet of modern design.

In addition to an expansive open living room, the Entenza House features a dining room, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a study. Unique to the rest of the home, the study was intentionally designed without any windows or skylights to protect those working in it from distraction. The home also features a variety of outdoor living spaces, including several terraces, further emphasizing its indoor-outdoor harmony.

The Entenza House Case Study House 9 outdoor

All told, the Case Study House #9, with its stunning marriage of form and function and emphasis on nature, quality of living, and affordability, is a flawless example of modern residential design and why it continues to be such a beloved architectural style today.

Love mid-century modern architecture? Check out our curated selection of mid-century modern homes for sale.

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