It’s a measure of contemporary sizing standards—or just the tony circles in which Richard Meier travels—that a recently-designed 2,000 square foot beach house by the New York-based architect qualifies as ‘modest.’ By summer house standards, 2,000 square feet is a bit beyond modest, we think, but on New York’s pretension-free Fire Island, a barrier island with no inclinations to become the Hamptons, a house comprised of 25 tons of glass, and boasting 1700 square feet of decking is, no doubt about it, a very big deal.
But if there’s one thing Meier—who isn’t one to bother himself with pre-conceived notions about what any house should be—knows about, it’s how to go big. So it’s little wonder that the beach house he designed for clients who happen to be long-time friends, is a showstopper. Towering above the low-profile bungalows on the shoreline of an island conspicuously devoid of designer boutiques, and where residents saunter barefoot to local watering holes, Meier’s signature all-white, transparent cube of a house flies in the face of local architectural vernacular. But when a house is this ravishing to look at, maybe that little detail is wholly beside the point.Images: New York Times