Discover the Most Iconic 20th-Century Homes by Top Architects

To understand today, you have to look back. The new book Inside Utopia(Gestalten, $69) does just that, diving into iconic interiors by forward-thinking designers from the past 75 years. “We wanted to track the history of modern interiors to look at the changing points that got us to today,” says the book’s co-editor Sally Fuls. “Where and why were the ideas born, and who was behind them?” Inside Utopia begins with the midcentury-modern movement of the ’40s (which, Fuls notes, has seen a resurgence of late and will continue to be relevant in design to come), and continues through the 21st century, highlighting different influential styles, from a space-age futurism to Brutalism to postmodernism. “In the end, it was all about creating a vibrant, coherent mix,” says Fuls. Here, AD looks at five of the legendary houses from Inside Utopia.

Stahl House

The Pierre Koenig–designed Stahl House, also known as Case Study House #22, is one of the most iconic homes in Los Angeles. Perched high above Sunset Boulevard, the open-plan structure defined California modernism in the 1950s

Stahl House

Photographer Julius Shulman immortalized the home, now a national landmark, in a series of images that capture the glamour of the era. Today the Stahl House is open to the public.

Elrod House

If you’re a James Bond fan, you’re likely familiar with John Lautner’s Elrod House from Diamonds Are Forever. Lautner crafted this Palm Springs home in 1968 for Arthur Elrod, himself a designer famous for establishing the town’s midcentury-modern aesthetic.

Karl Lagerfeld Apartment, Monaco

Design group Memphis Milano, headed by Ettore Sottsass, pushed forward into postmodernism for Karl Lagerfeld’s Monaco penthouse in the ’80s. The quirky home featured strikingly colorful artworks and furniture by Sottsass, Michael Graves, and George Sowden set between dove and slate-gray walls on a black rubber floor.

Karl Lagerfeld Apartment, Monaco

The home looked wildly impractical—and that was the point. Memphis Milano eschewed the notion of form-follows-function in Lagerfeld’s home.

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