Decorating & Design

June 17, 2013

Viñoly-Designed Estate

What do the Vdara Hotel in Las Vegas, the Battersea Power Station in London and the Tokyo International Forum have in common with this week’s house? They were all designed by Uruguayan architect Rafael Viñoly. Like many of his other works, this mansion just north of Philadelphia is definitely an estate — almost more institution than home. Let’s take a look at the kind of architecture $25.4 million can buy.

At first glance, the home’s large windows and stone siding are actually quite welcoming. But a further glance at the listing reveals the actual scale of this property: a 40,000-square foot main house, 20,000-square foot “play house” with indoor tennis court and guest suite, two restored farmhouses, a pool house, a six-car indoor parking garage and an eight-car outdoor parking garage, all spread out across 70 acres of land. Wow.

Why have just one kitchen island when you could have two? Or one pantry when you could have three? Once you’ve assembled your meal and selected a pairing from the 4,000-bottle wine cellar, sit down at one of three eating spots in the kitchen (I’m counting the sofa), the small, family dining room or the larger dining room geared to entertaining.

Here’s the two-and-a-half-storey great room. While the hallway has that light-filled, blank-walled, empty-art-gallery look, grouping the furniture on multiple area rugs gives the living room a more human scale.

I find it a bit strange that everything in the principal bedroom is angled toward the corner window, but then, I haven’t seen the view from it in person. The room does make a wonderful showcase for the artwork, and behind the scenes, there’s a climate control system to help preserve your collection.

The principal suite stretches out into two bathrooms, two dressing rooms, a sitting room and an office. I’m guessing this is the tub that, according to the listing, was carved from a solid block of imported marble. And with 70 acres, you probably wouldn’t need to ever draw those drapes while soaking.

After a game of tennis (on the indoor or outdoor court), change into your suit in the pool house and take a dip. I love that the vines have been allowed to cover the top of this pergola, shading the dining area, but trimmed on the sides to preserve the view.

Are you sold on the estate lifestyle? Or would you rather do your art viewing in a museum?

For more homes filled with art, check out our photo gallery of Artful Homes.

Photo credits:
1-6. Long & Foster Real Estate