The Pritzker Prize-winning American modernist and abstract artist, Richard Meier has designed multiple iconic structures. One of them is the Smith House, situated in the town of Darien in Connecticut which overviews the Long Island Sound. This house, which is one of Meier’s early works, has been photographed by Mike Schwartz to commemorate the remarkable project’s 50th anniversary.
The captured photos rediscover a new aesthetic to the old Smith House whose original inhabitants were Fred and Carole Smith. In the meantime, it is currently owned by their sons, Chuck and Hobie Smith who cherish the residence and plan to preserve it for the future.
“I was working out of one room of a two-room apartment shortly after leaving the office of Marcel Breuer, and one day I had a call from Carole Smith asking if I would be interested in designing a weekend house for her family,” stated Meier. “She was looking for a young architect who would give full attention to the house.”
Although the design of the Smith House seems simple at first glance, it has “revolutionized residential design in the United States and around the world”. The Smith House has even won several awards including the AIA’s Twenty-five Year Award. Meier has many iconic residential works which are taught to students at architecture school.
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Among these works is the 1973 Douglas House, which was constructed on a hill above Lake Michigan and is registered as one of America’s historic places. Meier’s architectural work is characterized by the use of clean geometric designs and pearl white exteriors along with glass surfaces.
According to a statement by Meier’s studio, Richard Meier & Partners Architects, “The Smith House catapulted Richard’s career as an architect, and it was the project that helped to define Richard Meier’s architectural language and the design philosophy of the firm.”