Above: Designed by Buff & Hensman and located in Thousand Oaks, California is CSH #28, the last house of Art & Architecture magazine’s Case Study House program. Photo: Julius Shulman / Getty Archives
Located in Thousand Oaks, California Case Study House #28 was the last of the program that began in 1945 by Art & Architecture magazine. The Case Study program was an experiment in American residential architecture whose goal was to create show homes that showcased affordable, modern housing in response to the sudden increase in housing demand created with the return of millions of soldiers after the end of the Second World War. Designed by architect Jack W. Buktenica of the firm of Buff, Hensman and Associates Case Study House #28 was completed in 1966 and demonstrates that after 20 years of the Case Study Program the goal of affordable and modern housing had given way to simply showcasing innovations in modern architectural design and materials. The home is still around today and is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
Here is the text of the article introducing Case Study House #28 as it appeared in Art & Architecture Magazine in 1966.
Co-Sponsored by Pacific Clay Products and Janss Corporation
Interiors by Robert P. D’Amico of Ecological Design Associates with Marge Peterek Landscape
Architect: Jack W. Buktenica.
Photographed by Julius Shulman
This Case Study project grew out of a concern with the problems and advantages of face brick as the basic structural material in contemporary single-family residential construction. Despite its wide use in large scale building, face brick is used on the West Coast for its decorative rather than its structural properties, largely because of cost factors, which in turn are the result of stringent reinforcing requirements in building codes and resistance by labor to improved, more efficient construction methods. The architects were asked to design a house that incorporated face brick as the primary structural material to demonstrate its particular advantages. The solution introduces reinforced grouted walls and piers, laid in a standard one-third bond, and designed to take both horizontal and vertical loads and spanned by concealed steel beams. Joining the brick with glass results in a combination of materials requiring no finish and little maintenance during the life of the building.
The site is a knoll overlooking the Conejo Valley development of Janss Corporation 40 miles north of Los Angeles near Thousand Oaks. The house utilizes the site in its entirety, the overall periphery approximating a square and following the boundaries of the usable portion of the lot. In plan the house is composed of two symmetrical wings connected by glass-enclosed galleries. Living, dining, kitchen and study are in one, the five bedrooms in the other of the two parallel 95′ by 19′ wings. The major spaces and the galleries open onto a 54′ by 54′ central court, paved in brick and containing a swimming pool and planted areas, that forms a visual and physical center for the house. The low profile of the house, leaving views from surrounding sites unobstructed, is emphasized by wide overhangs which shade the extensive glass area (4500 square feet). In addition to their visual and sun control functions, the overhangs house continuous duct plenums for carrying conditioned air; the two central brick piers abutting on the interior court each houses the forced-air units for its wing. Thus the necessary heating and cooling elements have been made contributing visual factors in a concept that combines form, function and mechanical environmental controls.
The covered area of the house is about 5000 square feet, including the two connecting galleries. All interior floors are brick paver, relating to the brick of the central court and the terraces and patios; the family of earth colors in the various brick surfaces also integrates the house with the site and the larger environment. The combination of the past with today’s technology in the juxtaposition of the warm, natural brick with the meticulously detailed stainless steel framing for windows and sliding glass doors has also been reflected in the interior design.
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