Location: Princeton, New Jersey
In 1949, Philip Johnson commissioned a series of exhibition houses for MoMA’s sculpture garden, to offer up an “economical solution for an individually built, architect-designed country home,” as an alternative to the prefabs and Cape Cod-style dwellingsfilling America’s new suburbs. The “House in the Museum Garden” series may not have had the transformative effect he hoped for, but for Marcel Breuer, who designed the first home in the series,the exposure yielded a handful of commissions built in the same style. These included the Lauck House, on four acres in Princeton, New Jersey, which was recently put on the market for$2M.
A 2011 Dwell article on Breuer’s original MoMA home—which the Rockefellers purchased and had rebuilt on their estate, in Pocantico Hills, New York, where it now hosts the resident artists of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund—shows a very close resemblance. Both were built with butterfly roofs, and a “bi-nuclear” layout so that they could adapt as families grew, essentially creating ‘apartments’ at each end; the master bedroom and master bath in one, and bedrooms, a bathroom, and a playroom at the other, with a kitchen in between.
This idea has since been expanded upon with the Lauck House, by way of a double-height extension built in the ’80s, adding a glassed-in communal area to what would have been the childrens’ side. The 3,800-square-foot home has vertical wood siding both outside and in, flagstone floors, and like the home upon which it was based, a kind of funky rope railing in the living room. It’s currently owned by an architect couple, who purchased it in 2008 an undertook “complete restoration and preservation work.”