Above: A sketch of the Case Study House #25 as it appeared in the January, 1962 edition of Arts & Architecture magazine. Photo: Arts & Architecture archive.
Designed to be entered by boat along the Rivo Alto Canal in Naples, California is Case Study House #25 – or Frank House. Upon leaving the water a visitor to the home has to step across elevated square stones that appear to float above a reflecting pool outside. Entering through the monumental 17 foot door one would discover that the stepping stones and reflecting pool continue inside and lead to a large, two story courtyard with slatted paralume ceiling. Framed by the reflecting pool on one side and two floors of glass wall on the other, this courtyard is one of the most dramatic entrances to any of the Case Study Houses.
Completed in 1962 the home was designed by the firm of Killingsworth, Brady and Smith for furniture importer and boating enthusiast Edward Frank. Frank’s request was for a home that would allow for entertaining but provide privacy from the busy canal. One of the most striking features of the home is the 17 foot door, which is a marvel of engineering and balance as the large and heavy door can be easily opened.
The Case Study program, created Arts & Architecture magazine in 1945 as an exercise to come up with affordable housing for the millions of soldiers returning home to the United States after World War II, had drifted away considerably from its original mandate by the time CSH #25 was built and in fact was one of the last Case Study Houses built. Still around today, and impeccably maintained, Case Study House #25 still commands attention along the Rivo Also canal, a beautifully modernist standout among its neighbours. You can read more about Case Study House #25 here in the Arts & Architecture magazine archive.