Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater stands alone as perhaps the definitive example of a home that is a work of art. But, that’s not the only one. There are many other notable properties that can also qualify as real estate pieces of art and the best news is — they’re all for sale.
In what architect Steve Hermann calls his “greatest achievement,” the “Glass Pavilion” is set within an oak grove on 3.5 acres in Santa Barbara, CA. Glass wraps around the exterior of this 14,000 sq ft home and inside are big, wide-open spaces with contemporary furnishings and design. A wine room can hold several thousand bottles and the expansive art gallery presently contains a vintage car collection that can hold up to 32 cars within its walnut-lined walls.
As is typical of architect Wallace E. Cunningham, this masterpiece embraces its surroundings along the Southern California coast. It sits high above Torrey Pines State Reserve in La Jolla, CA, and takes in the surrounding views of the ocean, open sky, and rugged landscape. Five years in the making, this home is constructed from white-polished concrete and floor-to-ceiling glass.
Award-winning architect Milton Klein created this custom-contemporary on Palm Beach’s Lake Worth in 1986 and it underwent a restoration in 2007. It consists of almost 20,000 square feet and has 200 feet of lake frontage. This grand-scale construction is made possible with extensive use of poured concrete, steel and only about 5% wood.
A towering, two-story glass atrium is the signature showpiece in this 1992 tri-level neo-modern home on more than 7 acres. Designed by Ulrich Franzen, who worked with I.M. Pei for several years before starting his own firm, Franzen used expansive windows and skylights to integrate with the landscape and lake. The home is made of polished, beveled concrete aggregate blocks and granite and marble. And, of course, windows. Perks: Elevator, indoor pool, media, exercise and billiard rooms, outdoor pool, lighted tennis court, two-bedroom guest cottage and garage for 6-7 cars.
Wealth and beauty abound on Miami Beach’s La Gorce Island, which is accessible only by a bridge and passage through a guard house, which makes it desirable for celebs such as Cher and Billy Joel to own homes there. This contemporary home on La Gorce offers 20,000 square feet with 12 bedrooms, 14 bathrooms, and a 5-car garage. Plus, the 270 feet of protected waterfront will come in handy for yacht parking. The pièce de résistance is a unique, sweeping white marble staircase (photo, above) that leads to the master bedroom.
Journey out to the end of Long Island, NY to find this modern, oceanfront gem. Enjoy glass-walled open living on the main floor and head upstairs to the private master that is set perpendicular to the main floor. Ceiling-to-floor windows on the main floor can be thrown open to let the sea air in, or to slip into the lap pool and spa. Walk down the stairs to your own private beach.
Designed in the style of renowned Mexican architects Luis Barragan and Ricardo Legorreta, this home is built into the McLain Flats hillside, which is about 10 miles outside of Aspen. The home’s sleek lines combine with the sun’s rays to create shadows that offer its own unique effect as a living sculpture of color and texture. The 9,000-sq ft home was built in 1994 and has 5 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms.
At the center of this home is a garden courtyard and the living space radiates around it, wrapped in circular walls of glass and soaring steel beams. Rooms feature custom-curved stainless steel windows and doors. Views of the infinity edge pool and city are beyond. A generous 24,000 sq ft of space includes 6 bedrooms and 6.5 baths, plus 7-car garage, gated security, and elevator. Designed by architect Ed Niles.
Noted for its extensive use of glass walls, the house takes full advantage of its stunning location, providing views of Peconic Bay, the North Fork and Long Island Sound, all the way to Connecticut. The house is sited on an elevated estate-sized property consisting of two parcels (3.33 acres and 2.66 acres). Also available is an 100-foot boat dock with hydraulic lift.
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Contemporary doesn’t always mean steel and glass, does it? As a big departure from the double-chimneyed, traditional homes in the Washington, DC area, this warm contemporary won the AIA custom home award in 2008. Designed to enjoy the surrounding treed property, it overlooks the Potomac River. Perks: Lap pool, guest house and home office.