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Celebrity Homes | Dec 20, 2016
Celebrity Homes: Richard Meier English Countryside Minimalist Home
Celebrity Homes Richard Meier English Countryside Minimalist Home

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Celebrity Homes: Richard Meier English Countryside Minimalist Home – Atop a hill in Oxfordshire, England, Richard Meier conjures a minimalist masterpiece. As they have since the first Bentley took to the road, many Brits still motor into the countryside to weekend in great country houses.

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But for guests of a family living in the rolling hills of Oxfordshire, the house at the end of a winding, hedge-lined lane is not a Downton Abbey pile or a rambling, thatch-covered cottage. What awaits instead is a bracing specimen of white geometric abstraction designed by American architect Richard Meier, so pristine inside that you can see a pin drop.

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Just beyond the automated entry gate, visitors steer onto a sweeping drive that curves in a suspenseful tease around the base of a slowly rising meadow. Stretching across its crest, left to right, is a compound of white walls, low and high, set off against a bosk—sometimes it takes a straight horizontal line to call attention to the beauty of nature’s irregularities.

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Master of the white villa, Meier drew his long horizontal line behind a two-story house by extending walls alongside a pool and tennis court toward a compact cubic guesthouse. The design brings the entire site to a focus that seems to fix the landscape, pinning it down like an elaborate brooch.

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As striking as the result is, it was not inevitable that a Meier villa would find a home in this officially protected, quintessentially English landscape. Building plans had to go before a district council for approval. “People didn’t want a modern house,” Meier recalls. “Most of the committee looked at the project with a certain amount of skepticism, even though no neighbor can even see the house. But there was one woman who was very vocal and very pro.”

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Meier’s clients needed no convincing. They had seen a show of his work in London, liked it, and hired him. Once they told him their requirements—five bedrooms, a two-bedroom guesthouse, plus a pool and a tennis court—they recused themselves from the design process.

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Source: architecturaldigest.com

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