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.