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A Shot in the Dark

Architect Pierre Koenig’s 1960 Stahl House
Case Study House #22
Los Angeles, California

"I wanted to breathe some air into the house, not to pose them (the girls) with their faces in the camera necessarily, but to get a feeling of natural activity, as well as using them for scale. After all, architecture is for people. It was a warm night, and I was inside photographing the house with Pierre. I happened to step outside and saw the view, and here the girls were sitting through the glass, just having a conversation. My assistant was setting some lights for me (we were doing an interior photograph) and then when I saw what was going on, I quickly came back in the house and told everyone, ‘We’re changing the composition,’ brought the camera outside, and readjusted the lights. My wife used to say. ‘After all, it’s only a glass box with two girls sitting in it.’ But somehow that one scene expresses what architecture is all about. What if I hadn’t gone outside to see the view? I would have missed a historic photograph, and more than that, we would have missed the opportunity to introduce this kind of architecture to the world." -Julius Shulman, The Making of an Icon

Image Credit: © Julius Shulman