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Starchitects Weigh In on Hamptons' Houses, Hedges

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[One of Meier's favorites, the Gwathmey Residence & Studio, Amagansett; Photo courtesy AT]
Archi-fan Dan Rattiner has recapped his visit to a panel at Guild Hall in East Hampton, where starchitects Richard Meier and Robert A.M. Stern and New Yorker critic Paul Goldenberger spoke on the state of architecture in the Hamptons. The overall mood of the discussion seemed to be they just don't make 'em like they used to, as Meier 'lamented the loss of new homes built in the modern and avant garde style' and expressed sadness over the loss of 'creative experimentation'. In the critic's corner, Goldenberger noted today's lack of open land has led to dwindling 'experimental structures', believing modern homes require a certain amount of space to be shown off. Apparently, closely neighboring homes tend to mess with the vista...

All three mentioned the problem of hedges, which are about as popular as grass in the Hamptons, as contributing to the modern-home downfall. Hiding architectural masterpieces just doesn't work, though Stern, for his part, said he wouldn't be giving up his hedgerow anytime soon. Landscaping in general dominated much of the discussion too, as it seems what the untrained eye sees as beauty these days has an awful lot to do with tree and flower placement.

As far as the towns were concerned, Goldenberger blasted East Hampton for becoming 'a showcase and tourist attraction', lamenting that its prices ('$200 jeans!') couldn't be called shopping, but rather 'advertising. He agreed with Stern and Meier, however, who felt that Sag Harbor had done the best job of holding off 'over-the-top development' and that Amagansett had struck a balance.
· Hamptons Critique [Dan's Papers]