Richard Meier and partner Michael Palladino designed a four-bedroom beachfront house on the coast of Southern California for modern-art collectors. Sequential block-shaped volumes and doors intersect at the entrance, drawing the visitor in spatially.
“The design challenge,” says Meier, “was to create privacy for interior and exterior living spaces while taking advantage of the southern exposure and clear views.” A break in the front façade—made of gridded and patterned glass—provides a glimpse into the courtyard.
A glass-floored walkway and a curved wall create opposing but balanced elements in the entrance hall. In typical Meier fashion, the narrow hall ends in a dramatic gesture, with the introduction of the dining area, two-story living area and expansive view.
Untitled, a circa 1945 painted-metal-sheet-and-wire mobile by Alexander Calder, hangs in the living area. The interiors were sparingly furnished by designer Rose Tarlow. “My objective was to be sure the furnishings wouldn’t interfere with the architecture,” she says. Stark carpet.
The walkway leads to the study, right, and the guest rooms and the master bedroom, left. “The glass flooring physically and spatially isolates the study within the overall composition,” says Palladino.
Two nearly identical master bedrooms are laid out in the house. One is on the first floor; the other is directly above it and features a private balcony and a leather-upholstered Eero Saarinen Womb chair and ottoman. Both rooms have maple beds and tables.
In the study, Philip Taaffe’s 1999–2000 mixed-media work Devonian Landscape hangs near a Richard Meier & Partners–designed desk and early-20th-century Josef Hoffmann chairs.
"The architecture is planned around an outdoor room that expands the interior space,” explains Michael Palladino, speaking of the bluestone-tiled terrace and the large garden courtyard. The one-bedroom guest apartment is situated atop a garage.
Seemingly independent planes and volumes are assembled to create the elegantly ordered 4,280-square-foot beachfront house. Its sharp white exterior, transparent features and sculptural elements are intended to capture and enhance an interplay of light and form.
AD 100: Rose Tarlow: AD 100 Designers: architecturaldigest.com