Saturday, March 31, 2012

Rafael Vinoly Project on the Market

I recently read in Architectural Digest that this house, located in Ridgefield, Ct, and designed by the famous Uruguayan architect, Rafael Vinoly is presently for sale.  I have driven by this house many many times on my travels through Ridgefield.  And have often wondered who designed it and who owned it. You can't see much from the street because it sits on top of a very steep drive.  The house is perched on a very high piece of land in the northern part of Ridgefield, called Ridgebury.  I'm guessing the house has tremendous views west toward New York State.

But here's the thing that completely blows me away...the house, which is listed for 3.2 Million, cost a staggering 20 Million to build.  The house was built in 1993. It's a 2 bedroom, 2 bath, 9760 sf house on 5 acres.  From what I've read it was designed for Alice Lawrence, the widow of a Manhattan real estate mogul, as more of an art gallery than home.

The other amazing thing is the scale of this house.  I've included an aerial photo so you can see the scale of this house in relation to neighboring houses.  I'm wondering how this house was approved by the Ridgefield zoning and/or land use commissions.  It looks to me like there are acres of pavement.  from above it looks more like an airport than a house.  Was it the architect or the home owner who conceived of such a large house in a traditional, rural Connecticut town?

Mrs. Lawrence bequeathed the house to Fairfield University when she passed away a few years ago.  The University is trying to sell the house, but it seems like they can't give the thing away.  The taxes are almost $80,000 per year.  A spokes person from the university was quoted as saying it is not an albatross....huh???

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Little Eye Candy; Suzanne Kasler's New House

Suzanne Kasler's recently renovated and decorated home was published this month in Architectural Digest. The firm of William T. Baker was the architect of the project. The house has a lovely soft palette throughout. It has the sense of being decorated all at once...which is quite beautiful;  all of the rooms have the sense of being part of the same theme.  One the other hand, this kind of decorating lacks a sense of history or time.  There are so many things to admire about the house.  I particularly like the soft pink of the Guest Bedroom and Guest Bathroom.

All photos Architectural Digest

Monday, March 26, 2012

Happy (350th) Birthday Nicholas Hawksmoor

Christ Church, Spitalfields

The Royal Academy in Great Britain is celebrating the 350th birthday of  architect Nicholas Hawksmoor.  Hawksmoor, who was born in 1661, is best known for his important London churches.  And his work stands out for it's "provocative juxtaposition" of styles, as Thomas Marks points out in his article in The Telegraph

The churches have a sort of graphic quality because of the bold combination of geometric shapes.  But they are also unusual because they are so eclectic.  You can see many different architectural styles integrated into the churches; Roman, Greek, Egyptian, Gothic.  Christ Church above is probably the most well known, but the others are quite lovely as well.

These photos of Christ Church are by Simon Kennedy

This is the rear of Chris Church, it looks so different from the front.

St. Anne Limehouse

 St George in the East, Wapping

St. Alfege's Greenwich

 St. Luke's, Islington

 St. Mary Woolnoth

St. George Bloomsbury

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

It was all Yellow

White Flower Farm

Yellow is only a favorite color of mine this time of year.  By the time the first things start blooming I am so thankful for color.  And here in New England that color is decidedly yellow! It's the color of daffodils and forsythia; from a deep rich yellow to a pale butter yellow, it's all wonderful.  This year is unusual; things are blooming at least 3 weeks earlier than normal....usually we start seeing the yellow around mid April.  But this year the daffodils are already in full bloom, and the forsythia not far behind.   I even saw a magnolia tree starting to bloom today!  But today's focus is Yellow.  Below are some great interiors and gardens with the color of spring (also a few fashion photos, I couldn't help myself.)

 Lindsey Coral Harper

Jay Jeffers 


 Leslie Klotz
 Jeanne Rapone

 7 For all Mankind


Jill Stuart

Jeanne Rapone

Huestis Tucker Architects