Killingsworth, Brady & Smith Office Building | Los Angeles Conservancy
Killingsworth, Brady & Smith Office Building photo
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Killingsworth, Brady & Smith Office Building

Architect Edward Killingsworth and his firm Killingsworth, Brady and Smith made a significant mark on the Modern architecture of Southern California, with a particularly strong influence on the built environment of Long Beach. Nowhere is this more evident than in the office building Killingsworth designed for his new firm on Long Beach Boulevard.

Completed in 1955 with minor modifications in 1957, the low-slung, horizontal office was designed as a model to demonstrate the firm's work. Indeed, it is perhaps the purest expression of Killingsworth's renowned Mid-Century Modern/Post-and-Beam style, expressing his beliefs about usability and buildings that are integrated into the landscape.

The one-story office consists of several linked volumes on a long, narrow lot, and was originally designed and sited around two existing old-growth oak trees. In 1957, the firm joined the different parts of the office, uniting them into one building that retains distinct geometric volumes. The office is built of slender white wood posts and beams holding walls of large glass panes, bringing the light and shadow of the sky and oak trees inside and offering passers-by a good long look into a working architectural office.

A shallow reflecting pool creates a dramatic entrance, punctuated by bright orange accent walls and the natural foliage of additional landscaping. Like his Case Study houses and the nearby Cambridge Building, Killingsworth's office is a delicate and very memorable expression of his unique design legacy.

Photo by Michael Locke

Kubly House

Sitting in an old eucalyptus grove, the giant trees providing privacy for the transparent house, this post-and-beam residence is a spare, horizontal box that is lifted pavilion-like off the ground.