Richard Meier & Partners Architects LLP

Meier House

Essex Fells, New Jersey

1963 - 1965

This house, a first commission in private practice, stands on a one-acre suburban lot in a typical residential neighborhood of pseudo-colonial houses. The owners wanted a one-story house. The masonry bearing walls and their large glass openings are capped with a wide parapet that encloses a roof garden. The brick walls block the building off from the street, creating a sense of privacy; the interior looks out on an enclosed courtyard, as well as a golf course on the adjacent site.

The inset courtyard and curving brick walls which extend beyond the building corners protect and shape the views for privacy, and open the inside of the house to light and the seasons through skylights and clerestories. Sunlight and shadow inundate the interior, producing a sense of space and quietude.

The house turns inward, away from its suburban neighbors. It is like an urban courtyard house, reflecting the owner’s wish for privacy and isolation.

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