Discover the Most Iconic Twentieth Century Houses by Top Architects

From Karl Lagerfeld’s Monaco loft to the Elrod House, another book looks at the advanced style of the most recent century’s design developments.

To see today, you need to think back. The new book Inside Utopia (Gestalten, $69) does just that, plunging into notorious interiors by ground breaking fashioners from the previous 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-editorial manager Sally Fuls. “Where and why were the ideas born, and who was behind them?” Inside Utopia starts with the midcentury-current movement of the ’40s (which, Fuls notes, has seen a resurgence of late and will keep on being pertinent in design to come), and proceeds through the 21st century, highlighting distinctive compelling 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 takes a gander at five of the amazing homes from Inside Utopia.

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Stahl House

The Pierre Koenig–designed Stahl House, otherwise called Case Study House #22, is a standout amongst the most notable homes in Los Angeles. Roosted high above Sunset Boulevard, the open-design structure characterized California innovation in the 1950s.

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Photographer Julius Shulman deified the home, now a national historic point, in a series of pictures that catch the glamour of the time. Today the Stahl House is open to the general population.

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Elrod House

In case you’re a James Bond fan, you’re likely familiar with John Lautner’s Elrod House from *Diamonds Are Forever*. Lautner made this Palm Springs home in 1968 for Arthur Elrod, himself a designer acclaimed for building up the town’s midcentury-current modern aesthetic.

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The circular home sits beneath a conical concrete dome, and opposite the wall shown here are retracting floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the valley.

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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 peculiar home featured strikingly colorful artworks and furniture by Sottsass, Michael Graves, and George Sowden set  between dove and slate-gray walls on a dark floor.

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The home looked wildly nonpractical — and that was the point. Memphis Milano shunned the idea of form-follows-function in Lagerfeld’s home.

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Palais Bulles

In 1960s France the maison bulle slant prompted the multiplication of these concrete bubble houses that could without much of a stretch be mistaken for a Hollywood set of a spaceship. Antti Lovag’s 13,000-square-foot Palais Bulles was finished decades later in 1989.

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Comissioned by industrialist Pierre Bernard, the French Riviera home was bought by fashion designer Pierre Cardin just three years after it was built. In 2016 the home was listed at a reported $335 million.

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Leme House

Pritzker Prize–winning architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha drove the tropical Brutalist development in São Paulo, finishing the Leme House there in 1970. There are no windows in this starkly geometric concrete home—only skylights.

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The art gallery–style home was fittingly acquired by collector and gallerist Eduardo Leme, who filled the space with his collection.

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