DARIEN, Conn. — As a child, Chuck Smith remembers architecture fans frequently visiting his family’s home, a glass-walled masterpiece by architect Richard Meier that became a modernist landmark.
A half century after it was built, the family has put the waterfront home in Darien up for sale, and Smith is hoping for a buyer who will appreciate what he likens to living inside a sculpture.
“It’s a very unique person that’s going to want to live there,” said Smith, a filmmaker whose parents commissioned the house. He remembers being forbidden to throw a ball in the house because of all the glass.
The 3,930-square-foot home on Long Island Sound was listed for sale last week with an asking price of $14.5 million. The four-bedroom building with a geometric, minimalist aesthetic was designed by the New York-based Meier at the start of his career and became one of his first widely recognized works.
The real estate agent handling the sale, Jack Trifero, said those coming for showings of the home have included architects with their old school textbooks that feature the house.
The buyer will not be subject to any formal restrictions on what they do with the property, but the sellers are hoping to find somebody who would not knock it down or alter it dramatically.
“It’s important that a person buys it who wishes to carry on its great pedigree,” Trifero said. “This house is part of the holy grail of American architecture.”
The building was designed specifically for the site, where Meier said the intersecting planes of the house were designed to respond to the rhythms of the slope, the trees and the shoreline. Walls of glass offer views of the sound and the property also includes a private beach.