Last year, American architect Richard Meier‘s iconic ‘Smith House’ reached its fiftieth birthday. To commemorate the anniversary, architectural photographer Mike Schwartz has taken a set of new photographs of the timeless beachfront property, which is located in Darien, Connecticut.
The ‘Smith House’ is one of Meier’s first ever projects, and is very much considered an influential masterpiece of residential architecture. Meier, now 83 years old, was commissioned by The Smiths in 1965 to complete the project, which is today owned by the couple’s sons. The house is known for its modernist open-plan design and precise, all-white volumes paired with glass surfaces. The decision to build vertically as opposed to horizontally was a response to the rocky nature of the sloping one-and-a-half-acre site. The house sits amongst rocks and trees, overlooking the landscape of Long Island Sound from the Connecticut coast. Behind the property, the land clears to a green lawn and then drops sharply to the rocky shoreline, where a small, sandy cove presents itself. “The dramatic view of sea and sky that greets one upon entering, is framed and intensified in the transparent skin of the rear façade”, explains the studio.
Images of the interior show modern decor and furnishings that pay homage to the original ’60s design. Natural light throughout the day-beams through different areas of ‘Smith House’, particularly in the public living spaces that overlook the water. “The experience of changing light and weather activates the crisp surfaces of the house”, continued the studio. In an award acceptance speech cited on his website, Meier explains his love of the color white: “White is the most wonderful color… The whiteness of white is never just white; it is almost always transformed by light and that which is changing; the sky, the clouds, the sun and the moon”.
All images © Mike Schwartz