The renowned midcentury modern architect Richard Neutra is best known for his Southern California designs. He’s the man behind Case Study House #20 in Pacific Palisades, the Stilt House in Sherman Oaks, and the Kaufmann House in Palm Springs.
Although many of his gems are found in the Golden State, Neutra did have clients on the East Coast as well, and one of his Connecticut creations just landed on the market. Built in 1956, the Glen House in Stamford, CT, has been listed at $4.5 million.
The 4,000-square-foot residence—one of only three Neutra homes in Connecticut—features many of his trademarks, including walls of glass, cantilevered roofs, and a mix of natural materials.
It’s no accident that the skylights seem perfectly positioned to capture not only natural sunlight, but moonlight as well. The architect carefully studied the location in person so that he could incorporate the setting into his plans.
“Neutra actually camped out on the piece of property when it was just land,” says the listing agent, Rick Distel. “He was big on capturing moonlight.”
The home changed hands after the Glen family lived in it, and a later owner covered the floors with carpet and added marble to the brick fireplace mantle.
By the time the current owners bought the home in 2005, for about $1.3 million, it needed updates.
The owners wanted to modernize, while hewing to Neutra’s original intent. So the ode to moonlight remained, even as they expanded and renovated the home to bring it into the 21st century.
The four-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom residence features floor-to-ceiling glass in the living and dining area.
Carpet was banished in favor of the tile flooring that now runs throughout the home. The marble mantel has been removed, to showcase the original materials.
The owners even pored over Neutra’s archives to study his original plans for the home, which had been slightly modified because of budget constraints, Distel notes.
The kitchen had been closed in by choice by the Glen family, who employed a live-in maid who handled the cooking, and certain finishes on the exterior hadn’t been executed as Neutra intended.
They opened up the kitchen, so that it’s now part of the living area. The space is minimalist and functional, featuring stainless-steel counters. Architect Joeb Moore handled the kitchen renovation and received numerous awards for the sleek design.
Now, the exterior features the mix of white plaster and cedar that Neutra had envisaged.
More recently, the master bedroom suite was expanded by the architecture firm Rolfs Elert Office to add a larger sleeping area, a dressing room, and a bathroom with a soaking tub. The signature Neutra skylight, designed for moon-watching, was expanded.
Set on 2.4 acres, the gorgeous grounds offer stone terraces, a lush lawn, and stone outcroppings.
In addition, the serene spot is an easy, 50-minute train ride into midtown Manhattan.
Fifteen years ago, Distel says, the owners bought the house “because it was a Neutra.”
They were anticipating renovating the home because they “wanted to bring his vision and his voice into it,” he adds. They were also guided by the thought of “what he would have done today.”
Now, as they return to Manhattan, a new owner can enjoy the thoughtfully updated space as Neutra first imagined it.