When you think housing development, you don't think great architecture. McMansions, yes. Taliesins, no. But in Southampton, New York, on the wealthy eastern end of Long Island, developer Coco Brown is creating a modernist art gallery disguised as a subdivision.
The curator - yes, there's a curator - is Richard Meier, the architect best known for the Getty Center in Los Angeles. Meier rounded up some 45 "starchitects," including Zaha Hadid, Michael Graves, Shigeru Ban, and ninetysomething Philip Johnson. Each was asked to come up with a design for the project, dubbed the Houses at Sagaponac, then given a budget of about $200 per square foot. The first home is slated for completion in October; the whole development will be finished by 2008.
I am curious about several things such as is this for real? "40 serious inquiries from young, moneyed aesthetes willing to plunk down $4 million for an architectural statement" sounds like the developer has a good PR staff.
And then if those young aesthetes are for real, what is the market premium for a house which is plumped-up to be the product of a starchitect? And not just the first sale but on resale?
Thank you Michael Jennings who also appreciates it, at least at some level.