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 doesn’t bother himself with pre-conceived notions about what a house should be—knows something 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; Richard Meier & Partners