High House

“You’re not allowed to ask about cost!” said Charles Renfro. The architect, splendid in white linen suit and floral shirt, was speaking to critical eminence Paul Goldberger in the outdoor amphitheater at East Hampton’s Guild Hall in late August; at least implicitly, he was also addressing the audience, some fifty-odd culture vultures and design minds who had descended on the venue to hear the pair discuss Goldberger’s new book, Blue Dream and the Legacy of Modernism in the Hamptons. Its subject—the price point of which was not to be discussed—is in fact a house, recently completed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro on nearby Two Mile Hollow Beach for businessman Robert “Bobcat” Taubman and his wife of four months, Caroline Summer. A dunelike earth form topped partially by low-density composite (“like a surfboard,” as various members of the Taubmanian retinue repeatedly pointed out), the building was partially inspired by the work of Eero Saarinen, whom Taubman had identified as a favorite at the project’s inception more than five years ago (a timeline that prompted another …

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