The last full month of summer, August presents a final opportunity to enjoy recreational pursuits—as a spectator or participant—before the autumnal commitments of school and work return. In weeks to come, we’ll take a look at the architecture of the Olympics, as well as the graphic branding of the Games over the years. Today, we’re indulging in a survey of a rarefied design sector: yachts designed by architects and artists.
Frank Gehry sets sail in Foggy, which he designed in collaboration with German Frers. Titanium details and wavy, lattice-like ports give the 74-foot daysailer a most unusual presence. Foggy was built at the venerable Brooklin Boat Yard in Brooklin, Maine.
Dazzle camouflage certainly influenced Jeff Koons’ design for this 115-foot craft (christened Guilty) and we detect a bit of Roy Lichtenstein in the comic-book colors and Ben-Day dots, too.
Koons’ Guilty accomplishes optically what Zaha Hadid’a Z-Boat does in three dimensions. Its squared-off bow defies conventional thinking about what constitutes a streamlined vessel; nonetheless, it conveys an impression of speed and power. The 24-foot powerboat was produced in a limited edition of 12 by Shoreteam.
Not a slack halyard or an untidy coil in sight—John Pawson’s B60 is shipshape, indeed. Pawson teamed with naval architect Luca Brenta to create a sloop in his signature minimalist style. The hull, a graceful arc of polished carbon fiber, seems to float above as much as in the water.
For a more accessible seafaring experience, we recommend any of the excellent Around Manhattan tours, produced by the NY AIA in partnership with Classic Harbor Line. Expertly led by professors and practitioners of architecture, the tours offer a waterfront perspective on landmarks new and old from the vantage of teak- and mahogany-detailed, 1920s-style yachts.
July is the month when vacation season starts in earnest. Temperatures climb, work weeks shorten (if you’re lucky), and the beach beckons. We’ve rounded up some architecturally auspicious summer homes by the shore (perhaps you’ll recognize a few of them) where we’d be very happy to while away a few days.
Designed by John Lautner in 1970, the Arango House still has an avant-garde appeal. Overlooking Acapulco Bay, its solid, swooping forms handily defy easy categorization.
A vivid bit of vernacular design, the photogenic “beach boxes” of Australia’s Brighton Beach are an architectural inheritance of sorts, passed from one generation to the next. When one of these colorful cabanas does come on the market, the asking price—around $200,000 AUD—belies its size.
Photograph by Bill Maris
An instant icon when it was built on Cape Cod in 1968, the Cooper House by Gwathmey-Siegel featured a peace-keeping program: the childrens’ bedrooms were separated from the parents’ master suite.
Photograph by Matt Lord
Clever photography and superlative engineering imbue this home, the Pole House Fairhaven by f2 Architecture, with the illusion of floating over the Australian coast.
Post-modernism is having something of a moment, now, so we’re including this Malibu beach house by Michael Graves on our list of seaside retreats.
North of LA in Oxnard, the Vault House overlooks the Pacific. Architects Johnston Marklee designed the geometric exploration in 2013.
Frank Gehry‘s Norton House has been a landmark on the Venice, California boardwalk since 1984. The “lifeguard tower” structure, inspired by the homeowner’s erstwhile summer job, is used as a writer’s studio.
Moorish meets Moderne in this spirited stylistic hybrid. In Alys Beach, not far from the epicenter of New Urbanism, Seaside, Florida, it’s designed by Jeffrey Dungan Architects.
Reaching out over the waters of Canada, the Two Hulls House illustrates MacKay-Lyons-Sweetapple Architects’ continuing interest in pared-down forms set in a primordial landscape.
At this Malibu residence, Richard Meier forgoes his traditional white facade in favor of a slatted screen of wood. How very Cali.
The harbinger of a Bay Area regional style, Condominium 1 at The Sea Ranch was not initially well received by its developers, who sent a terse telegram—”Stop work. It looks like a prison.”—to architects Charles Moore, Donlyn Lyndon, Bill Turnbull, and Richard Whitaker in 1965.