Thursday, December 07, 2006

Terrence Riley's House: Good for Bathing Suits

The NYTimes explores Terrence Riley's sunny splashy Mies van der Rohe house located in the Design District. The house looks exquisite and more Mies in Miami is always a good thing, but the sad unspoken truth is that the people who build these architectural gems in the Design District and Wynwood (like the Rubell's massive complex including a lap pool and tennis court behind their warehouse collection on 29th st.) live essentially in concrete fortresses. The articles sort of touches on that but really skirts the issue:
No one passing Mr. Bennett and Mr. Riley’s concrete-fronted house would call it off-putting, despite the near total lack of transparency. And, with each house using nearly all its lot, it does seem like a sensible way to achieve both dignity and privacy in a dense city with a suitable climate.

“It’s also interesting because it’s an anti-real-estate typology,” Mr. Riley said, warming to the topic. “Real estate is ‘location, location, location,’ but this house can be built anywhere.”

It's also anti-new urbanism to completely ignore the neighborhood where your house is situated. Riley's house (below) may be acceptable to the cultural elite, but its essentially the high-design version of a McMansion, with the same disregard for neighborhood cohesion that critics of trophy houses always bemoan. Oh, and next time you're at Riley's pad, make sure to bring your bathing suit.

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