My first project is the Smith House, which sits on a 1.5 acre site in Darien, Connecticut. The house sits on a rocky outcrop that overlooks Long Island Sound. Meier was just 31 when he was commissioned to design a weekend retreat for Carole and Fred I. Smith, and their two little boys. Meier used the house to investigate the spatial separation of public vs. private. The private side of the house looks solid in plan and is constructed out of wooden bearing walls and a framing system. The public space is at the rear of the house, and overlooks the water. The public side is supported by columns system, which allows for a huge curtain wall that allows for the space to be what Meier calls a "180-degree explosion" of light and space.
The Outside of the building embrace elements that would become Meier signatures: white exterior, expanses of plate glass framed by well proportioned piers and mullions. The facades of the house allow one to easily read the spaces behind it. The private side facade faces the street and is an opaque screen that is only intermediately pierced with windows. The entrance into the building is where Meier becomes playful by piercing the second story of the private side by a ramp and allowing for dramatic view of the sea and the sky that are framed and intensified by the transparent skin of the rear facade.
In this first video post of the Smith House, I’m going to insert an image of the first floor, scaling it to the correct scale, and pinning the image so it won’t move when placing geometry.