Unfortunately, you can’t live inside a Picasso. But you can nestle into a Frank Lloyd Wright or a Kengo Kuma. Homes designed by iconic architects are rare, and ownership is a luxury that few can afford. “They grant enormous bragging rights to their owners, and they also are, to some extent, an important cultural amenity and talking point for the neighborhood around them,” says Dan Conn, CEO of Christie’s International Real Estate.
Conn underscores the comparison to owning a famous painting or sculpture: “First, it is a great privilege, and second, it should come with a sense of obligation to honor and preserve it.” An architectural home allows the owner “to sense the soul and intent of its designer,” according to Gerard Bisignano of Vista Sotheby’s International Realty. There is a sensory experience not attainable in even the finest of standard dwellings.” Bisignano is the agent for the Kaufmann Desert House in Palm Springs, one such masterwork now on the market.
Below, we’ve got the details for this iconic Richard Neutra residence, as well as available properties by David Adjaye, Tadao Ando, and other major architects.
Penthouse living is that much better in this eighth-floor residence, one of four penthouses in a new condominium designed by celebrated architect Robert A.M. Stern at a cable-car crossing atop Nob Hill. “This site gave us the opportunity to connect to the wonderful Art Deco–inflected classicism that abounds in the neighborhood, working with traditional ideas and interpreting them in fresh new ways,” Stern said in a statement.
Three bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms, and an open-concept living, dining, and kitchen space fill nearly 2,000 square feet of interior living space, with light-oak flooring, custom-scalloped molding, Dornbracht polished chrome fixtures, and Valli&Valli hardware throughout. An additional 925 square feet of exterior space includes a pair of terraces on the main floor and a rooftop terrace with exquisite views of downtown San Francisco and the Bay.
William Pedersen, the founding partner of Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, is best known for towering skyscrapers like Manhattan’s 10 Hudson Yards and Shanghai’s World Financial Center. But his weekend retreat on Long Island’s Shelter Island is meant to integrate with its bucolic surroundings. The two-floor getaway “almost creates a sculptural form that becomes part of the land,” Pedersen told the New York Times. “It rises from the land almost like an island emerges from the water.”
The home, which took Pedersen nearly 20 years to complete, is based on a multi-axis framework: The exterior is clad in bluestone and sheets of standing seam copper, while the interior is filled with concrete, stone, and Douglas fir wood paneling. There’s an open flow between the outdoor entertaining areas, the public spaces at the heart of the property, and the long passageway to the three private bedrooms. A floating wood staircase leads to a second-floor living room with a wood, eat-in kitchen and dining area.