The Houses of New York City’s Most Valuable Architect

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Robert A.M. Stern Architects-designed apartment buildings have repeatedly set records in New York—for price, desirability, and hype. Given their superlatives, it’s natural they should get the lion’s share of the firm’s publicity.

But RAMSA also has a thriving single-family-home practice, which is featured in the firm’s new, massive book, Houses (Monacelli Press, $85).

Whereas the RAMSA apartment building aesthetic has, at this point, become clearly defined—prewar aesthetic meets contemporary utility—the firm’s residential single-family houses are more disparate.

“When you look at our residential work, the context of it changes considerably across the country,” says Grant Marani, one of the firm’s four residential partners, “and also our clients are very strong-willed, and certainly have a view about what they’d like to see in their house.”

That said, there are certain components that characterize RAMSA buildings the world over.

“The proportional system we use is very consistent,” Marani says. “We’re all in agreement about the right size and proportions in various rooms—it’s not a table of proportions per se, but it’s a sensibility towards making a room that feels appropriate for the function at hand.” Living rooms, for instance, should ideally be 20 feet by 30 feet.

Similarly, the firm focuses on what Marani calls a “hierarchy of spaces,” where the progression from the driveway to the motor court or entrance port, to the entrance hall, to the entertaining and living spaces is all carefully arranged.

Even the relationship between “formal rooms and formal gardens, so the views from the principal entertaining rooms” are in whatever way Marani says, “constants in our work.”

To see how that translates into brick and mortar, check out the firm’s projects below.

The Houses of New York City’s Most Valuable Architect
The Houses of New York City’s Most Valuable Architect
The Houses of New York City’s Most Valuable Architect
The Houses of New York City’s Most Valuable Architect
The Houses of New York City’s Most Valuable Architect
The Houses of New York City’s Most Valuable Architect
The Houses of New York City’s Most Valuable Architect
The Houses of New York City’s Most Valuable Architect
The Houses of New York City’s Most Valuable Architect
The Houses of New York City’s Most Valuable Architect

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