Above: Located in Mt. Washington, California, the Pilot House was designed by A. Quincy Jones and Whitney R. Smith in 1948. Photo: Andrew Bramasco
When renowned architect Archibald Quincy Jones left the army after serving during the Second World War he started his own architectural firm and found his first client the day he opened. Jones’ innovative approach to architecture was groundbreaking and forward thinking and made considerations for longevity, new engineering, and what would become known many years later as sustainability.
A few years after opening his firm, Jones in partnership with Whitney R. Smith, formed the Mutual Housing Association, an arrangement that would be responsible for many, iconic home designs, most of which are located in the famous Mid Century marvel tract house development of Crestwood Hills in Brentwood, California. Before embarking on any large-scale projects the team decided to design and build a ‘test house’ to try out new designs, engineering, and construction techniques. Their goal was to deconstruct staid ways of thinking about space and to create open, energetic homes that were both well designed as well as practical and livable. This house, completed in 1948, would become known as The Pilot House. Located in Mt. Washington just north of Los Angeles the home is a long and linear plan situated on a steep plot. Its famous angled windows affords incredible views of the surrounding hills, and with patios on three sides and a large and well-hidden pool, the home is a perfect, secluded oasis.
The Pilot House for many is the birth of Mid Century Modern American architecture and demonstrates quite beautifully that modern can be warm, inviting, and quite livable. An icon almost from the day it was built in 1948 the Pilot House was designated a city monument in 2002.
The Pilot House designed by A. Quincy Jones and Whitney R. Smitm, 1948. Click on image for full view. Photos by Andrew Bramasco3403 false false false
If you want to learn more about architect A. Quincy Jones’ wonderful work click on the image below.