Archives pour la catégorie Case Study Houses

Case Study House Program: References

List of books:

  • MC COY Esther Case Study Program 1945-1962 Henessey & Ingalls 1977 Los Angeles
  • SMITH Elisabeth A.T. Blueprints for Modern Living: History and Legacy of the Case Study Houses MIT Press 1998
  • STEELE James, JENKINS David, KOENIG Pierre Pierre Koenig Phaidon Press 1998
  • MC COY Esther, BLAKE Peter Craig Ellwood Architecture Hennessey & Ingalls 1997
  • ALBRECHT D. The Work of Charles & Ray Eames
  • COLOMINA Béatrice The Work of Charles and Ray Eames, A Legacy of invention 1997
  • STEELE James Eames House, Charles and Ray Eames Architecture in Detail Phaidon 1995
  • HINES Thomas S. Richard Neutra and Search for Modern Architecture University California Press 1994
  • MC LAMPRECHT Barbara Richard Neutra Complete Works Taashen 2000
  • SACK M. Richard Neutra Gustavo Gili 1994 Barcelone

List of articles:

  • Baboulet, Luc; « Le Case Study Program et la tradition américaine »; AMC (France); n°98; 05/1999;
  • ; « On the Mies Edge »; Domus (); n°614; 02/1986;
  • Goldstein B.; « The Entenza Years »; Art and Architecture (Etats-Unis); n°; 1990;
  • ; «  »; Architecture d’Aujourd’hui (France); n°; 02-03/1966;

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Case Study House n°16′, by C. Ellwood

Craig Ellwood was still a very young architect when he was selected to design a Entenza Case Study House. This is the first in the series of three villas he designed for the Case Study House Program. It offers a house here where he developed while working on multiple outdoor spaces qualities that come to extend and enrich the home of various and unexpected ways….

Constructive options

  • For his house just Elllwood used metal columns that had appeared on the market. Indeed, due to the decline of the railway, many found themselves unused rails produced. They were recast which raised metal companies to develop new product lines …
  • The use of square columns instead of columns H can save a lot of money, they are lighter and can simplify a number of details such as those bindings woodwork.
  • The beams used are I to 6 inches and 36 feet long.
  • Translucent panels 10 feet in height are treated as extended walls of the house.
  • The interior walls of the house are also treated as screens. They are of the same material as the exterior walls to express continuity between interior and exterior spaces spaces. These panels are by exposing the structure which is painted black. They are off the ground, and are separated from the ceiling by a transom window.
  • The villa consists of a grid of 8 feet.

  • The house is divided into two areas occupied by the circulations, one inner and one outer longitudinally extending in the direction of the project.
  • The boundary with the street is freely drawn by a solid line turn opaque or translucent tower. This watershed limits any tower covered and not confined areas (like the porch); other spaces, enclosed and discovered (as the court of children); or some interior spaces and with others outside. This boundary separates Similarly, the prices of the rooms from the street by a series of panels of translucent glass …
  • The indoor and outdoor spaces are organized around the two perpendicular axes carry the project.
  • The partition between social spaces and individual spaces is along a North-South axis passing at the entrance.
  • It amazing how close the villa whose area is in a simple rectangle, which is built with a completely systematic metal structure does not prevent to achieve a wide variety of spaces and uses. Each space is fully qualified. This remark is particularly sensitive to the game of indoor and outdoor spaces.
  • This is illustrated for example in the input sequence: the porch is divided into two parts, creating a covered walkway for pedestrian access. Basically, the villa allows a double entry: service entrance that allows access to the court and the kitchen but also main entrance angles. The patio at the entrance allows movement of the light at the output while creating a view.
  • Each room is extended by outdoor spaces in direct continuity with the interior space. The « master bedroom » has a double orientation opening on two distinct areas, each with a different status: an enclosed space and privacy to the east; a terrace that opens fully to the outside overlooking the far south …
  • Similarly, the living areas have a triple orientation with three types of large spaces.
  • Open to the outside distant and providing a wide view to the south: the « view terrace » as baptized Craig Ellwood.
  • Open to foreign direct space and close to the garden: the « living-terrace » is protected under large pergolas. It comes in direct extension of the dining room.
  • Much more protected, the « child-play » may have lived both as a space service and much more closed and intimate space.
  • The position and status of the service areas is much less clear. Ellwood seems to make the difference in service areas such as bathrooms that are treated as opaque and irremovable cores while the space kitchens are treated as completely at Koenig transferable manner … These spaces are scattered and fragmented in the plan of a house.

Figure 2:

  • The diagram shows the spatial sequence extending along one of the two structural axes of the project …
  • From west to east, succeeding are: the « living terrace » / « child court » / the entrance patio / porch for cars.

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Case Study House n°9, by C. Eames et E. Saarinen

This house was designed in collaboration with Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen. This villa was built on the same site and with the same construction system that the villa # 8. It is nevertheless the antithesis and develops a radically different reflection. This villa was built for J. Entenza himself. She adapted to its requirements. Entenza wanted to focus on the reception areas.


Constructive options…

  • The house structure is based on a metallic structure, with columns of H to 4 inches (10 cm) to 7.5 feet tall.
  • The aim was to enclose the maximum possible space in shape and structure as simple as possible.
  • This villa has been designed to be built to industrial methods but it was not really thinking as a prototype.
  • The living room was designed according to the principle of « elastic space. » Architects have developed the idea that space can expand or contract depending on the life of its occupant and the number of guests.
  • The engineer Edgardo Contini project expresses the general advantage of the villa: “ The intention of the Entenza House is to eliminate structure to be anti-structural, to be anonymous as possible. In the Entenza house no beams are expressed, no columns visible.”

“ The total concept was architectural : it was resolved in terms of architecture, in contrast to the Eames house, which was structurally assertive.”

Figure 1 :

  • This villa is in addition and in contrast to the Case Study House No. 8 also called Eames House, located just next door.
  • They both use the same structural system. This system is based on the metal profiles of high lightness.
  • Yet in each case the architects make a radically different use. It is interesting how two radically different about can be developed on the same site with two identical structural systems and a similar programming.
  • In the « Eames House » structure is completely highlighted. It is structuring, not only literally but figuratively: it articulates, rhythm and cadence of the project. It is everywhere the first expression. – In the « Entenza House », the search is at an entirely different level. The structural system is used in a much more minimal and paradoxically much more efficient than in the Eames House.
  • Moreover, the structure is not used here to articulate and rhythm space. Rather, the goal seems rather in Entenza House to break free completely to access full spatial and programmatic flexibility.
  • The Entenza programmatic requirements for the house allows us to better understand the basics of thinking developed by Eames and Saarinen. It is in the treatment of the relationship of the common areas and individual, intimate and shared the villa shows all its richness.
  • The house is in a square of 54 feet (about 16.50 meters) square it occupies almost entirely.

  • The program is distributed as follows: the North-East quarter is occupied by « individual » rooms and private (rooms, bathroom); the northwest quarter, for service parts (laundry, garage, cellar …) Finally, the southern half of the common areas (living room, dining room, kitchen …) – Each part is separated by full or partial opacities games but also translucency. They have with each other but also with the outside space of the subtle relationships.
  • Thus, the input is separated by a simple translucent filter garage which is lit from overhead way. The light is thus transmitted and scattered by the filter in the manner of lateral entry.
  • The kitchen is separated by a wall furniture fair amount has so obscure the view. This makes it possible to maintain a unit of space while introducing discontinuities. The separation between the master bedroom and dressing room is treated in the same way …
  • The connection between the room is treated with a sliding panel will allow to separate or unite spaces in the main bedroom and living room.
  • Another type of discontinuity is introduced by the fireplace, treated fairly minimal, floating and movable.
  • A final type of discontinuity is introduced by treating the soil levels of differences in the villa. This difference between the northern half and south of the house is equivalent to about 90 cm. It allows the creation of large footboards in the middle of the stay. These steps by creating casual seating allows the opportunity to strengthen the space of the living room around the fireplace. On the other side, between the bedroom and the living room, the height difference allows the creation of a sofa next stay with the top of the file arrives at the chamber floor.
  • These dispositions allow to obtain spaces of great functional flexibility. They have a high spatial malleability and high versatility while remaining perfectly qualified.
  • A number of scenarios illustrating this elasticity are studied in a series of diagram (see next page):
    • Scenario 1 : We start here with the basic element around which is built the common area in the villa Entenza. This is the part of the living room occupying the south-eastern part of the villa. This element is limited by the fireplace and the sofa that closes the space of very intimate way. On the other side, the kitchen that can be associated indifferently to 3 different types of areas: living room with part of which is bounded on the east by emmarchement transforming this part of living a formal dining room ; or with the internal extension of the kitchen open to the living room: creating an informal dining room. Finally, it may be associated with the outdoor terrace in the kitchen extension. Thus creating a place for outdoor dining.
    • Scenario 2 : In this scenario, the basic unit is associated with the chamber and part of the terrace creating a very intimate spatial sequence type: bedroom + living room + terrace, privatizing some way the living room and terrace. This scenario shown in photos 3 and 4. We clearly see the alcove effect in which the chamber is taken.
    • Scenario 3 : Here, the master doubled the portion of the space on the other side of the fireplace. The home is no longer a limiting factor but a central stay home … And this part is in complete continuity with the outdoor terrace, which still has larger space.
    • Scenario 4 : This scenario explores the possibility or common areas are assembled and dilated to the extreme. Here they form a very large reception area. This space is both fragmented and united. It includes an input sequence and various conducive to discussion forums.

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Case Study House n°20, by R. Neutra

“It is a period to which many of us have been anxiously looking forward for long years ”. These words written by Neutra early in the program shows how the Case Study Program was an expected event. Indeed, Neutra wore a constant interest in innovation in the field of design and construction of individual houses. During these long years, Neutra thought to bring out of the home craft to industrialization. The two-bedroom house is a problem that has already solved many times. Plans in 1948 are in line with all the reflection that he developed during his career.

The constructive options:

  • Assembling a prefabricated core services and containing wet and heating installations was a limiting factor of the plan.
  • This core was placed so as not to prevent future extensions of the villa.
  • In a second step, an extension was added to the south in 1958.

Figure 1::

  • The house has an L-shaped plan with the dining room and living room facing south open on a « social » patio bordered by giant Eucalyptus.
  • Both bedrooms have their own open to the west garden.
  • The composition of the house based on a frame alternating category successively 10 feet and 4 feet.
  • The combination of these two measurements: a structural dimension and the dimensions of prefabricated wet core which houses all services (kitchen and bathroom) for the 10 feet.
  • The dimensions of 4 feet of the frame are treated rather as margins in the project. All circulations are collected. It allows to arrange a set of continuities and transparency through the project. It also allows the posting of items.. Elle autorise également le détachement des éléments.
  • The structural system is not emphasized in the project. The structure has no presence or strong or rhythm in the project.
  • Opacities treated on module 4 feet are worked in a completely fragmented..
  • They support many advanced and Returns indoor and outdoor play areas.
  • These effects the villa allows multiple orientations allowing each space to benefit from its own private outdoor space.
  • The roof is covered in this same principle. It is widely comes in front of the façade is thus withdrawn leaving the elements exceed in height as chimneys ..
  • All these treatments contribute to the effect of dissolution of the house into the surrounding nature, with which she seems to merge.

Figure 2:

  • This diagram shows the north side of the house, it helps to understand the relationship maintained by the spaces of the house with the environment.
  • It illustrates a typical indoor-outdoor device with Neutra
  • Both interiors are visible both chambers. Same size, the relationship of their interior spaces with the exterior space is treated with the same repeating pattern that creates an effect of outside in space.

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Complete list of the CSH

_

Année: Num.: Architecte(s): Surf.: Construit: Materiaux: Adresse: Plan (Cliquer sur l’image)
1945 #11 (#1)* J.R. Davidson 167 m² N Ossature Bois
Eléments de Sapin / Plâtre
540, South Barrington Avenue West
Los Angeles
1945 #4 Ralph Rapson 167 m² N Ossature Bois ou Métal
Panneaux Standardidés
x
1945 #5 Whitney R. Smith 167m² N Ossature Métal
Brique
x
1945 #6 Richard Neutra 167 m² N Ossature Bois
Panneaux ondulés en ciment
x
1946 #1 (#11*) JR. Davidson 102 m² O Ossature Bois
Eléments de Sapin / Plâtre
x
1946 #12 Whitney R. Smith 153 m² N Ossature Bois
Plâtre, Lattes de bois
x
1946 #13 Richard Neutra 167 m² N
1947 #10 Nomland and Nomland 176 m² O Ossature Bois
Panneaux de Contre-Plaqué
x
1947 #15 JR. Davidson 102 m² O Ossature Bois
Eléments de Sapin / Plâtre
x
1947 #16* Rodney A. Walker 185 m² O Ossature Bois
Brique & Panneaux de contre-plaqué
1947 #17* Rodney A. Walker O
1947 #2 Spaulding and Rex 167 m² O Ossature Bois
Panneaux de Contre-Plaqué
x
1947 #21 * Richard Neutra 185 m² N
1948 #18* Rodney A. Walker 148 m² O Ossature Bois
Panneaux de Contre-Plaqué
x
1948 #20* Richard Neutra 116 m² O Ossature Bois
Eléments de Séquoia / Plâtre
x
1948 #7 Thornton M. AbelI 167 m² O Blocs de Béton x
1949 #3 Wurster and Bernardi 167 m² O Ossature Bois
Elements d’Aluminium
x
1949 #8 Charles Eames 139 m² + 92 m² O Ossature Métal
Panneaux Acier / Plâtre
x
1949 #9 Eames and Saarinen 148 m² O Ossature Métal
Panneaux Acier
x
1950 CSH Raphael Soriano 148 m² O Ossature Métal
Plâtre et Panneaux de Verre Ondulé
x
1952 #16* Craig Ellwood 148 m² O Ossature Métal
Briques, Plâtre
x
1955 #17* Craig Ellwood 306 m² O Ossature Métal
Briques, Eléments de Sapin
x
1956 #19 Don Knorr 213 m² N Ossature Métal & Brique
Panneau en bois
x
1957 #18* Craig Ellwood 213 m² O Ossature Métal
Panneaux de Contre-Plaqué
x
1958 #20* Buff, Straub and Hensman 167 m² O Ossature Bois
Panneaux de Contre-Plaqué
x
1958 #21 * Pierre Koenig 122 m² O Ossature Métal
Panneaux Acier
x
1959 #22 Pierre Koenig 213 m² O Ossature Métal
Panneaux Acier
x
1960 #23 House A Killingsworth, Brady and Smith 253 m² O Ossature Bois
Panneau de Sequoia
x
1960 #23 House B Killingsworth, Brady and Smith 209 m² O Ossature Bois
Panneaux de Pin
x
1960 #23 House C Killingsworth, Brady and Smith 206 m² O Ossature Bois
Panneaux de Pin
x
1961 #24 Jones and Emmons 162 m² N Ossature Bois
Panneaux de Contre-Plaqué
x
1963 #25 Killingsworth, Brady and Smith 185 m² O Ossature Bois
Plâtre
x
1963 #26 Killingsworth, Brady and Smith 306 m² N Ossature Béton préfa
Panneaux de Beton Poli
x
1963 #27 Campbell and Wong N
1964 Case Study Apartments #2 Killingsworth, Brady and Associates N
1945 #5 Whitney R. Smith 167 m² N
1963 #26 David Thorne O
1964 Case Study Apartments #1 Alfred M. Beadle O
1966 #28 Buff, Hensman and Associates O

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The Case Study Houses program: presentation & history

The Study Houses program was launched in January 1945. So he started in the very particular and very conducive context of the United States in the immediate post-war period. A man, John Entenza was able to see that it was a key moment. He was able to take the lead in maximizing its benefits. This context and the personality of the latter are the elements that made ​​the success of the program.

a Specific context…

 

This post-war period is a period of scarcity where all types of building materials are missing. Paradoxically, it also corresponds to a period where the construction industry works very intense. This intensity is explained by the long period of inactivity that preceded it.

On the one hand due to the economic crisis of 1929, the building activity is very slow throughout the thirties.
On the other hand, the war of 39-45 marks a complete and total output any breakpoint. All economic activity is oriented to the « war effort » moment. There was then very little opportunitées construction except for purely utilitarian building structures

During all these years, and especially during the war , there has been a great technological development and many progress. These new technologies will finally be tested and applied to the building , so for example :
– New plastics make possible the construction of homes using panels and translucent screens .
– The invention and use of arc welding allows for welding of such quality that they can finally be exposed indoors .
– Improvement of synthetic resins, which make them more resistant than natural resins, serves to seal and develop jointings adapted to new light building panels .
– The emergence of new adhesives coming from the aviation industry allows the development of a wide variety of new composite materials .

Finally, the construction period was not slowed mean a total shutdown of architectural production . On the contrary, the period between the wars saw a multitude of flower theoretical projects . All its potientalités will finally be able to know a realization . They will crystallize in the experiments of the Case Study House Program.

 

John Entenza, a critic engaged

John Entenza is the man who has by his editorial work and critical to all these reflections to emerge . It opened a whole experimental area .

Entenza began the publication of the  » Arts and Architecture  » magazine in 1938. Context Californian has certainly always been in favor of Modern Architecture . But it is necessary at the time to communicate through a media suppport to the general public. It is thus promote an understanding of new approaches to construction of individual houses emerged during the postwar period . The magazine has become the indisputable leader to win public acceptance of a good design and work on architectural quality . Entenza is who was the initiator.
Essentially teacher, he is convinced that all living with architecture , work on the quality of the built environment affects us all. It keeps a democratic faith in the ability of the public to understand qualitative work on our built environment when making an effort to submit it .

In 1944, he has a good idea of the course will take the modern architecture after the war. The weather is favorable for experimentation. Potential customers have never been so many …
Indeed, the low housing production during the years of depression has led to a shortage of housing that is deeply felt at the end of the war.
In addition, there is a real work to be done because some potential customers are already thinking about the time in terms of house key in hand . Moreover, the term  » Architecture  » seems a big word for families who want , in an emergency, fit comfortably and economically .
While the West Coast has always been a great place for experimentation and innovation in contemporary architecture ; Entenza sees the risk that the architectural quality of the houses built regresses due to the strong post-war production. It is indeed to be feared and that the quality is up to the quantity …

It certainly there has customers who can wait patiently for the architect completes the plans , which are in a demanding approach to architectural quality . It is also at this time that sponsorship organizations can fund experimental work.
But Entenza to realize that despite all many existing innovative ideas on the drawing board or in the minds of designers may not be able to materialize and be permanently lost.

History of the program

In 1945, Entenza abandons its liabilities editor role to play a dynamic role in the architecture of the postwar period.
He committed eight agencies including the magazine  » Arts and Architecture  » becomes the client. Each of these agencies is responsible for the design of a house. Thus begins the program will continue after the departure of Entenza magazine in 1962. The Case Study House Program ends in 1967 to stop the publication of  » Art and Architecture » .

The success and longevity of the program is due to its simplicity. The only stated goal is the development of an environment of well-being without any ideological bias. Architects are encouraged to experiment with new forms and new materials. But the materials should not be used or only selected according to their objective qualities . There is no question of using a material only because it is new .
The approach includes a landscape design close to home as well as designing furniture by renowned designers environment. During the first three years of the program , six houses are fully completed , furnished and landscaped and open to the public .

Approximately 500,000 people visit the first dozen houses . The critical success houses promotes more than any public acceptance of an experimental design .

Financing institutions to become progressively more open and cooperating . Banks are gradually fund contemporary homes . It should be noted that up to this time they refused fairly systematically fund houses with glass walls, open without dining room , kitchen facing the street, a flat roof and concrete slab floor plans; convinced that it was a risky investment without resale value … However, all the houses of « Case Study House Program » were excellent investments and they prove their resale prices …

In the 50s , after 13 houses either completed the program continues at the rate of one house per year. Selected architects are usually young and little known outside of Southern California . Koenig and Ellwood authors of five projects in two of them have both barely thirty when they are asked to design a Case Study House . Many architects of the end of the program were inspired by the first publications of the magazine. Koenig and decided to study architecture after the interest inspired him reading the newspaper .

By throwing a look at the achievements of the program over the last eleven years Entenza takes stock of the Case Study Houses program :

“ We like to think that these houses have been responsible for some remarkably lucid thinking in terms of domestic architecture. While it is true that not all have been every man’s dream cottage, they have, nevertheless had a demonstrably wide influence in the sound use of new materials and in re-use of the old, and had attempted, with considerable success, to suggest contemporary living patterns. »

The analysis of these documents allow us to identify three distinct periods in the program of the Case Study Houses:

1945-1950 , the program proved its worth.
In those first years , priority is given to the economics of the projects . In these early years of the program of Case Studies, 13 houses were built and 7 projects presented. The period begins in 1945 with the announcement of the program and ends with the completion of the house of Eames and Saarinen for Entenza .
All the architects of this period are already confirmed and recognized professionals. They each have a personal style already widely proven …
Any houses built during this period, that of Eames and Saarinen was the first to play with the layout and structure. It is also the first in the program to focus on the use of industrial materials and techniques in the field of architecture. Homes # 8 and # 9 are halfway house between the more traditional villas of the first period and purely experimental houses the following years .

1950-60 The experimental period.
In a second time, during the decade of 50, the focus is on innovative dimension villas, the true economic dimension from the background without , however, be lost sight of. This period extends from the summer of 1950 when Soriano started working on his house in the summer of 1960 , with the completion of the second house Koenig.
Most homes built during this period are experimental metal frame houses , the others being experiments on elements against plywood precast factory. For a century and a half the industry has been used for building materials but the house construction has resisted industrialization. Architects believe at the time that we must change that. Steel promises to bring domestic architecture to industrialization after the end of World War II . But the fundamental difference between houses wood frame and steel frame houses is that in the case of a steel frame all the details should be set at design unlike the wooden frame where you can leave a number of details to the discretion of the manufacturer …
The priority of this period is the development of projects that can serve as prototypes for manufactured homes .

1960-65 , Change of scale.
Finally, one last time , the program has a broader focus. The Case Studies developed during this period no longer interested only in experiments on one house. Reflections extend over a larger scale. You work on groups of houses and their integration to the environment and the city.

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Les Villas expérimentales du Case Study House Program

Le « Case Study Houses Program » est lancé en 1945, par un jeune éditeur californien John Entenza par l’intermédiaire de son journal « Arts & Architecture ». Dans le cadre du programme, le magazine fait appel à différents architectes pour étudier un projet de maison individuelle. Les projets est construits, puis meublés. Il est ensuite porté à la connaissance de tous: d’abord publiés dans les pages de « Arts and Architecture », les villas sont ensuite ouvertes au grand public pendant une certaine période et finalement vendues.

Cette initiative a plusieurs objectifs désignés par Entenza. Il s’agit tout d’abord de promouvoir auprès du grand public une nouvelle manière de concevoir l’architecture domestique. Il cherche également à provoquer cez le public une nouvelle exigence de qualité architecturale pour leurs propres maisons.

Le programme des Case Study Houses: présentation & historique

Le programme des Study Houses a été lancé en Janvier 1945. Il a donc débuté dans le contexte très particulier et très propice des Etats-Unis de l’immédiat après-guerre. Un homme, John Entenza a su voir qu’il s’agissait d’un moment clef. Il a su prendre les devants pour en tirer les avantages. Ce contexte ainsi que la personnalité de ce dernier sont les éléments qui ont fait le succès du programme.

Un contexte particulier…

Cette période d’après-guerre est une période de pénurie où tout les types de materiaux de construction sont manquants. Paradoxalement, elle correspond également à une période où l’industrie de la construction fonctionne de manière très intense. Cette intensité s’explique par la longue période d’inactivité qui l’a précédé.

D’une part suite à la crise économique de 1929, l’activité constructive est fort ralentie pendant toutes les années trente.
D’autre part, la guerre de 39-45 marque un point d’arrêt complet et total à toute production . Toute l’activité économique est à ce moment orientée vers “ l’effort de guerre ”. Il y a alors très peu d’opportunitées de construction excepté pour construire des structures purement utilitaires…

Pendant toutes ces années et notamment pendant la guerre, on assiste à un très grand développement technologique et à de nombreux progrès. Ces nouvelles technologies vont enfin pouvoir être expérimentées et appliquées au bâtiment, ainsi par exemple :
– Les nouveaux plastiques rendent possible la construction de maisons utilisant des panneaux et des écrans translucides.
– L’invention et l’utilisation de la soudure à l’arc permet d’obtenir des soudures d’une qualité telle qu’elles peuvent être enfin exposées à l’intérieur des maisons.
– L’amélioration des résines synthétiques, qui les rendent plus resistantes que les résines naturelles, permet d’étancher et de développer des jointements adaptés au nouveaux panneaux de construction légers.
– L’apparition de nouvelles colles provenants l’industrie aéronautique permet le développement d’une très grande variété de nouveaux matériaux composites.

Enfin, cette période de construction ralentie n’a pas été synonyme d’un arrêt total de la production architecturale. Bien au contraire, la période d’entre-deux guerre a vu fleurir une multitude de projets théoriques. L’ensemble de ses potientalités vont enfin pouvoir connaitre une concrétisation. Elles vont se cristalliser dans les expérimentations du Case Study House Program.

John Entenza, un critique engagé…

John Entenza est l’homme qui a permis par son travail d’éditeur et de critique à toutes ces reflexions de voir le jour. Il a ouvert tout une aire d’expérimentation.

Entenza débute la publication du magazine «Arts and Architectures» en 1938. Le contexte Californien a certes toujours été favorable à l’Architecture Moderne. Mais il est nécessaire à l’époque de communiquer au travers un suppport médiatique auprès du grand public. Il s’agit de favoriser ainsi une bonne compréhension des nouvelles démarches de construction de maisons individuelles apparues pendant cette période d’après-guerre. Le magazine est devenu l’indiscutable leader permettant de gagner le public à l’acceptation d’une bonne conception et d’un travail sur la qualité architecturale. C’est Entenza qui en a été l’initiateur.
Essentiellement pédagogue, il est convaincu que vivant tous avec l’architecture, un travail sur la qualité de l’environnement construit nous concerne tous. Il garde une foi démocratique en la possibilité du public de comprendre un travail qualitatif sur notre environnement bâti quand il est fait un effort pour le lui présenter.

En 1944, il a une bonne idée du cours que va prendre l’architecture moderne après la guerre. Le temps est favorable à l’expérimentation. Les clients potentiels n’ont jamais été aussi nombreux…
En effet, la faible production de logements pendant les années de dépression a entrainé une pénurie d’habitations qui se fait durement ressentir au sortir de la guerre.
De plus, il y a un véritable travail à effectuer car une partie des clients potentiels pensent déjà à l’époque en terme de maisons clef-en-main. Qui plus est, le terme d’«Architecture» semble un bien grand mot pour des familles qui veulent, dans l’urgence, se loger confortablement et économiquement.
Même si la côte Ouest a toujours été un grand lieu d’expérimentation et d’innovation en matière d’architecture contemporaine; Entenza entrevoit le risque que la qualité architecturale des maisons construites régresse du fait de la forte production d’après-guerre. Il est, en effet à craindre que la qualité laisse ainsi place à la quantité…

Il y a certes des clients qui peuvent attendre patiemment que l’architecte achève les plans, et qui sont dans une démarche exigente de la qualité architecturale. Il existe également à cette époque des organismes de mécénat qui peuvent financer des travaux expérimentaux.
Mais, Entenza se rends compte que malgré tout beaucoup d’idées innovantes existants sur les tables à dessin ou dans l’esprit des concepteurs risquent de ne pouvoir se concrétiser et d’être définitivement perdues.

Historique du programme…

En 1945, Entenza abandonne donc son rôle passif d’éditeur pour jouer un rôle dynamique dans l’architecture de l’après-guerre.
Il engage huit agences dont le magazine «Arts and Architecture» devient le client. Chacune de ces agences est chargée de la conception d’une maison. C’est ainsi que commence le programme qui se prolongera après le départ de Entenza du magazine en 1962. Le Case Study House Program s’achève en 1967 à l’arrêt de la publication de “ Art and Architecture ”.

Le succès et la longévité du programme sont dues à sa simplicité. Le seul but annoncé est le développement d’un environnement de bien-être sans aucun préjugé idéologique. Les architectes sont encouragés à expérimenter de nouvelle formes et de nouveaux matériaux. Mais les matériaux ne doivent être sélectionnés ou utilisés seulement en fonction de leur qualités objectives. Il n’est pas question d’utiliser un matériaux seulement parce qu’il est nouveau.
La démarche inclut une conception paysagère de l’environnement proche de la maison ainsi que la création de mobiliers par des concepteurs reconnus. Durant les trois premières années du programme, 6 maisons sont totalement achevées, meublées et paysagées puis ouvertes au public.

Environ 500 000 personnes visitent la première douzaine de maisons. Le succès critique des maisons favorise plus que tout l’acceptation du public d’une conception expérimentale.

Les institutions de financement deviennent au fur et à mesure de plus en plus ouvertes et coopérantes. Les banques commencent peu à peu à financer les maisons contemporaines. Ils faut préciser que jusqu’à cette époque elles refusaient assez systématiquement de financer des maisons avec des murs en verre, plans ouverts, sans salle à manger, une cuisine faisant face à la rue, une toit plat et des dalles de béton au sol; convaincues qu’il s’agissait d’un investissement hasardeux sans valeur de revente… Or, toutes les maisons du “ Case Study House Program ” furent d’excellents investissements et elles le prouvent par leurs prix à la revente…

Dans les années 50, après que 13 Maisons soit complétées le programme continue au rythme d’une maison par an. Les architectes sélectionnés sont habituellement jeunes et peu connus hors du Sud de la Californie. Koenig et Ellwood auteurs de cinq projets à eux deux ont tout deux à peine trente ans quand ils sont sollicités pour concevoir une Case Study House. Beaucoup d’architectes de la fin du programme ont été inspiré par les premières publications du magazine. Ainsi Koenig décida d’étudier l’architecture suite à l’intérêt que lui inspire la lecture du journal.

En jettant un regard sur les réalisations du programme au cours des onze dernières années Entenza tire un bilan du programme des Case Study Houses:
“ We like to think that these houses have been responsible for some remarkably lucid thinking in terms of domestic architecture. While it is true that not all have been every man’s dream cottage, they have, nevertheless had a demonstrably wide influence in the sound use of new materials and in re-use of the old, and had attempted, with considerable success, to suggest contemporary living patterns. »
(Nous aimons à penser que ces maisons ont été responsables de quelques réflexions remarquables dans le domaine de l’architecture domestique. Même s’il est vrai que toutes ne représentaient pas la maison rêvées de tout homme, elles ont en revanche eu une très large influence dans l’utilisation de nouveaux matériaux et dans la réutilisation de l’ancien et ont tenté avec un succès respectable de suggérer les voies d’un mode vie contemporain.)

L’analyse de ces documents nous permettent de dégager trois périodes distinctes dans le programme des Case Study Houses:

1945-50, Le programme fait ses preuves. Dans ces première années, la priorité est donné à la dimension économique des projets. Dans ces premières années du programme des Case Studies, 13 maisons furent construites et 7 projets présentés. La période débute en 1945 avec l’annonce du programme et se termine avec l’achèvement de la maison de Eames et Saarinen pour Entenza.
Tout les architectes de cette période sont déjà des professionnels confirmés et reconnus. Ils ont chacun un style personnel déjà largement éprouvés…
De toute les maisons construites au cours de cette période, celle de Eames et Saarinen est la première à jouer avec le plan et la structure. Elle est également la première dans le programme à se concentrer sur l’utilisation de matériaux et de techniques industrielles dans le domaine de l’architecture. Les maisons #8 et #9 sont des maisons de transition entre les villas plus traditionnelles de la première période et les maisons purement expérimentales des années qui suivent.

1950-60, La période expérimentale. Dans un deuxième temps, au cours de la décennie 50, l’accent est mis sur la dimension innovatrice des villas, la dimension véritablement économique passant au second plan sans cependant être perdue de vue. Cette période s’étend de l’été 1950, quand Soriano commence à travailler sur sa maison à l’été 1960, avec l’achèvement de la deuxième maison de Koenig.
La plupart des maisons construites au cours de cette période sont des maisons expérimentales à ossature métalliques, les autres étant des expérimentations sur des éléments en contre-plaqués préfabriqués en usine. Depuis un siècle et demi l’industrie a été utilisée pour les matériaux de construction mais la construction de maison a résisté à la l’industrialisation. Les architectes pensent à l’époque que l’on doit changer cela. L’acier promet d’amener l’architecture domestique à l’industrialisation après la fin de la seconde guerre mondiale. Mais la différence fondamentale entre maisons à ossature de bois et les maisons a ossature acier est que dans le cas d’une ossature d’acier tout les détails doivent être réglés au moment de la conception contrairement à l’ossature bois où l’on peut laisser un certain nombre de détails à la discrétion du constructeur…
La priorité de cette période est le développement de projets qui peuvent servir de prototypes pour des maisons industrialisées.

1960-65, Changement d’échelle. Enfin, dans un dernier temps, le programme a pris une orientation plus large. Les Case Studies développées pendant cette période ne s’intéressent plus seulement à des expérimentations sur une seule maison. Les réflexions s’étendent sur une plus large échelle. On travaille alors sur des groupements de maisons et sur leur intégrations à l’environnement et à la ville.

Liste complète des CSH

_

Année: Num.: Architecte(s): Surf.: Construit: Materiaux: Adresse: Plan (Cliquer sur l’image)
1945 #11 (#1)* J.R. Davidson 167 m² N Ossature Bois
Eléments de Sapin / Plâtre
540, South Barrington Avenue West
Los Angeles
1945 #4 Ralph Rapson 167 m² N Ossature Bois ou Métal
Panneaux Standardidés
x
1945 #5 Whitney R. Smith 167m² N Ossature Métal
Brique
x
1945 #6 Richard Neutra 167 m² N Ossature Bois
Panneaux ondulés en ciment
x
1946 #1 (#11*) JR. Davidson 102 m² O Ossature Bois
Eléments de Sapin / Plâtre
x
1946 #12 Whitney R. Smith 153 m² N Ossature Bois
Plâtre, Lattes de bois
x
1946 #13 Richard Neutra 167 m² N
1947 #10 Nomland and Nomland 176 m² O Ossature Bois
Panneaux de Contre-Plaqué
x
1947 #15 JR. Davidson 102 m² O Ossature Bois
Eléments de Sapin / Plâtre
x
1947 #16* Rodney A. Walker 185 m² O Ossature Bois
Brique & Panneaux de contre-plaqué
1947 #17* Rodney A. Walker O
1947 #2 Spaulding and Rex 167 m² O Ossature Bois
Panneaux de Contre-Plaqué
x
1947 #21 * Richard Neutra 185 m² N
1948 #18* Rodney A. Walker 148 m² O Ossature Bois
Panneaux de Contre-Plaqué
x
1948 #20* Richard Neutra 116 m² O Ossature Bois
Eléments de Séquoia / Plâtre
x
1948 #7 Thornton M. AbelI 167 m² O Blocs de Béton x
1949 #3 Wurster and Bernardi 167 m² O Ossature Bois
Elements d’Aluminium
x
1949 #8 Charles Eames 139 m² + 92 m² O Ossature Métal
Panneaux Acier / Plâtre
x
1949 #9 Eames and Saarinen 148 m² O Ossature Métal
Panneaux Acier
x
1950 CSH Raphael Soriano 148 m² O Ossature Métal
Plâtre et Panneaux de Verre Ondulé
x
1952 #16* Craig Ellwood 148 m² O Ossature Métal
Briques, Plâtre
x
1955 #17* Craig Ellwood 306 m² O Ossature Métal
Briques, Eléments de Sapin
x
1956 #19 Don Knorr 213 m² N Ossature Métal & Brique
Panneau en bois
x
1957 #18* Craig Ellwood 213 m² O Ossature Métal
Panneaux de Contre-Plaqué
x
1958 #20* Buff, Straub and Hensman 167 m² O Ossature Bois
Panneaux de Contre-Plaqué
x
1958 #21 * Pierre Koenig 122 m² O Ossature Métal
Panneaux Acier
x
1959 #22 Pierre Koenig 213 m² O Ossature Métal
Panneaux Acier
x
1960 #23 House A Killingsworth, Brady and Smith 253 m² O Ossature Bois
Panneau de Sequoia
x
1960 #23 House B Killingsworth, Brady and Smith 209 m² O Ossature Bois
Panneaux de Pin
x
1960 #23 House C Killingsworth, Brady and Smith 206 m² O Ossature Bois
Panneaux de Pin
x
1961 #24 Jones and Emmons 162 m² N Ossature Bois
Panneaux de Contre-Plaqué
x
1963 #25 Killingsworth, Brady and Smith 185 m² O Ossature Bois
Plâtre
x
1963 #26 Killingsworth, Brady and Smith 306 m² N Ossature Béton préfa
Panneaux de Beton Poli
x
1963 #27 Campbell and Wong N
1964 Case Study Apartments #2 Killingsworth, Brady and Associates N
1945 #5 Whitney R. Smith 167 m² N
1963 #26 David Thorne O
1964 Case Study Apartments #1 Alfred M. Beadle O
1966 #28 Buff, Hensman and Associates O