Pierre Koenig

A Brief Biography

Pierre Francis Koenig was an Austrian-American architect who lived from 1925-2004. Koenig was born in San Francisco, California. Koenig’s father was a salesman and the family moved to Southern California in 1939. After returning from a four-year tour in the Army during World War II, he enrolled in architecture school. He received his Bachelor of Architecture from USC in 1952.

Koenig worked with Raphael Soriano and Edward H. Fickett among others, and began private practice in 1952. His Case Study House No. 22 is widely considered the iconic postwar Los Angeles home, with its endless city views and incredible location in the hills.

One of his famous quotes was:

Simplicity is the essence of beauty.

Koenig was a Professor of Architecture at the University of Southern California from 1964 until his death. Koenig led the undergraduate building science program and Directed the Natural Forces Laboratory.

Pierre Koenig died in Brentwood, California, on April 4, 2004, at the age of 78.

Key works

Bailey House, Case Study House No. 21 | Los Angeles, California [1958]
Stahl House, Case Study House No. 22 | Los Angeles, California [1959]
The Oberman House | Rancho Palos Verdes, California [1962]
The Harold and Martha Henbest House | Rancho Palos Verdes, California [1966]

Photo of Case Study House No. 22 taken by Matt Kirschner, entitled “CHS #22”
(CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)