Dr. and Mrs. Stuart Bailey House (Case Study House #20)

Julius Shulman photography archive, 1936-1997.

Dr. and Mrs. Stuart Bailey House (Case Study House #20)


This home is located on a five-acre tract purchased for the purpose of building case study houses by John Entenza, the editor of Arts & Architecture magazine. The site, which overlooks the Pacific, also hosted three other case study houses, including Charles and Ray Eames’ house of 1949. Entenza sold one lot to Stuart Bailey, a 30-year-old dentist, who turned to Richard Neutra to design his home on the recommendation of a friend. As part of the Case Study House program, Bailey was eligible for discounts on building and furnishing materials from manufacturers including furniture, steel doors, and a prefabricated utility core called the Ingersoll unit. 51 years later, Bailey praised the continued durability of this unit, which located his plumbing and heating equipment at a central location. Neutra’s design for the house realized several ideas that he had been experimenting with for years, including his notion of a “Four-Courter House.” The resulting space had four articulated wings that extended out into the landscape. While this approach recalls the designs for the Kaufmann house, built a year earlier, and the Tremaine house, built a year later, this house was on a more modest scale of 1,320 square feet, and the wings are much shorter in length. Outside, the “four courts” that are dedicated to socializing, play, dining, and work double the house’s living spaces. Bailey’s correspondence with Neutra demonstrates his interest in the lighting of the house, and he campaigned for “cove lights, trough lights, klieg lights, clerestories, lights in closets and cupboards, and all manner of decorative lights,” no matter the cost. But when Bailey called for the closets to be painted white to make their interiors more visible, Neutra refused, arguing that “the closest must recede” through the use of dark paint and threatening to “remove [his] name from the project” should they be painted white. Ultimately, Neutra continued to work on perfecting the house for many years after its completion, designing two 700 square foot additions for the family in 1950 and 1958.

Adapted from Neutra – Complete Works by Barbara Lamprecht (Taschen, 2000), p. 193.

Project Detail

Year Built


Project Architect

Richard Neutra


Dr. and Mrs. Stuart Bailey


Pacific Palisades, CA