Photos by Lara Kimmerer, (except shot at twilight, by John Tse) . Click photos to enlarge:

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We are proud to list and market this Shingle Style house, distinguished as one of the relatively few houses in the area designed by world renowned architect and master of the style, Robert A.M. Stern, Dean of the Yale School of Architecture. The name of Hampton Road itself was inspired by the many homes Stern has designed in Long Island, New York’s Hamptons. The rare pedigree of the house offers an opportunity for discerning buyers looking at luxury homes, and the master’s guiding hand is evident in the design and details throughout the magnificent house. With two additions, one designed by Stern himself, the layout of the property as a whole is focused on entertaining, with grand flowing spaces that form a courtyard around the swimming pool and patio. The living and dining rooms offer formal gathering spots, while a relaxed family informality can be enjoyed with the open floor plan of the family room and large kitchen, with a wall of French doors that open to the patio and pool. While grand in scope, the house balances dazzling drama with comfortable human-scaled spaces. Cozy corners near a fireplace and voluminous transitional spaces (the sweeping stairway leading up for the entry foyer, for example) are equal components of the overall plan. For someone who wants to get away from it all, a bookshelf-lined library at one end of the house even has its own kitchenette, allowing one to remain in the secluded private space and study, work, or simply lose him or herself in a book. Or how about a movie night in the lower level home theater, complete with a popcorn maker, LED floor lighting, and reclining theater seats? Yet it is the details as much as the space itself that sets this house apart. While modern amenities such as high-end appliances and luxurious baths remind one that they are living in an exceptional modern house, there is a timelessness to the traditional architecture. With custom-milled molding, charming turrets, and finely crafted mantles, it is easy for one to feel he is in a meticulously restored and renovated early 20th century home on Long Island’s Gold Coast or on an estate in Greenwich, Connecticut. The house offers the best of the past and the modern eras. It is relatively rare to have a new home in Lexington that is designed by any architect. Many are simply from plan books. But there are few living and working architects with the level of reputation Robert A.M. Stern has achieved. 2 Hampton Road is a perfect example of why he is so lauded and should be a welcome offering for educated luxury buyers who understand the distinction of a well-designed home.

  • 7,018 square feet of living area
  • 31,742, square foot lot (.73 acre)
  • 13 rooms
  • Five bedrooms
  • Seven-and-a-half baths
  • Natural-gas-fired hot water baseboard heat; cast iron baseboards; eight zones
  • Separate central air conditioning; six zones
  • Two gas fireplaces
  • Kitchen with professional-level six-burner Thermador gas range; Sub Zero refrigerator; separate butler’s pantry with additional sink
  • Au Pair suite with full bath
  • Library with separate entrance, kitchenette, and full bath
  • Home theater
  • Three-car garage

Offered at $2,098,000. Showings begin Friday, August 22. Open houses Saturday and Sunday, August 23 and 24, 1:00-3:00. To request a private showing, call Bill 781-856-0992, or John 617-851-3532, or use the CONTACT button to email us.

From the Stern Monograph Houses (1997):

The Hamptons in Lexington, Massachusetts, is in many ways the most successful of our Shingle Style-inspired development groups today. Six houses were grouped along a newly created cul-de-sac in one of Boston’s affluent bedroom communities. The vocabulary of shingled walls and roofs, bays, turrets, and covered porches gave the group an overall coherence, but every effort was made to vary the planning and massing of each house in relation to the special features of the individual building lots. We further strove to distinguish the specific character of each house from its neighbors in order to foster the characteristics of an evolved neighborhood. — Robert A.M. Stern

In over thirty years of practice, Robert A.M. Stern has developed a distinctive architecture Committed to the synthesis of tradition and innovation and, above all, to the creation and enhancement of a meaningful sense of place. Inspired by the legacy of great American architecture, his firm, Robert a.M.Stern architects, has produced a variety of building types in a range of stylistic vocabularies. The design of houses for which the firm initially gave notice, remains a cornerstone of the practice.

…Stern emphasizes the importance of context by exploring the nature of place through houses that embody a region’s vernacular architectural heritage, as well as gracefully reflect the unique nature of each site.

…Whether reinterpreting classic New York town houses, Shingle Style cottage is by the sea, or American frontier log houses, Stern is fostered a strong sense of architectural continuity and connection to the past by participating in the dialogue across time but he believes lies at the heart of architecture.

Stern:

Why bother with the house as an architectural problem? For one thing the house presents away to get back to first principles. By this I do not just mean a way to have intimate contact with a specific and idiosyncratic program, site, and family — clients who have a desire to make a special mark on a place — although such is very important. By first principles I also mean the fundamental relationships between form, context, local culture, and received tradition that gives architecture it’s special resonance. This seems particularly relevant at a time when so much about our world seems to be in flux or outright insubstantial. The problem of the house is not so much one of shelter as of psychology. More than ever, the house is the center of family life, and island of calm in a sea of doubt.

 

Why hold onto the past? Because tradition is a gift, not some onerous weight. In this technological era of placelessness, perhaps our greatest challenge is to build up, not destroy, our relationship to the natural and built past. Every site is a form of historical evidence that must be honored as we construct anew. I very much agree with Frank Lloyd Wright who, despite his undeserved reputation for iconoclasm, proclaimed: “True modern architecture, like classical architecture, has no age. It is a continuation of all the architecture that has gone before, not a break with it.” Like Wright, I abhor the false modernism the claims new beginnings every Monday morning.

 

The Shingle Style appealed to me as a high style practiced by top architects, but with enough of the purely local about it to make each of its monuments a celebration of the vernacular culture rather than a self-proclaiming statement of the architect’s will. For young architect trying to see a way out of the deliberately nonspecific International Style Modernism that was the prevailing mode of the day, the Shingle Style was a compelling model. The focus on place rather than a worldview was a major shift in orientation, a real break from the behavioral model that have been said before most architectural students of my generation.