A house by acclaimed architect Roger Ferri, who isn’t as well known now as some of his colleagues because of a tragically short life, has come for sale in the Hamptons. The roughly 2,000-square-foot house, set on nearly half an acre in a wooded section of Amagansett, is listed for $1.389 million with Eileen Mullen of Sotheby’s International Realty.
A Long Island native, Ferri’s career was launched in 1975 at the age 26 with his design of the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art in Loretto, Pennsylvania. Four years later, the 30-year-old architect was commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art to present a design for a pedestrian city as an afterword to its 1979 exhibition “Transformations in Modern Architecture.” Ferri’s design, titled “A Proposal for an American Architecture and Urbanism in the Post Petroleum Age,” included a dome surrounded by a series of halls in the shape of giant, 42-foot-tall lilies. In the mid-1980s, he designed large scale projects such as the Dai-Ichi Hotel in Tokyo, but a few years later, returned to smaller scale designs. Sadly, he died of AIDS in 1991.
A memorial exhibition was held in 2002 at Columbia University’s Wallach Art Gallery. The release for the show noted that he was, “celebrated as one of the most significant architects of his time […] His unique approach to architecture has had a lasting impact on his friends, colleagues and the profession in general.” Colin Amery, an architectural consultant and co-author of Vanishing Histories, said Ferri ‘planted the seeds of debate about all the important issues facing architects and artists today.’ And Ada Louise Huxtable, writing in the New York Times, characterized his work as ‘totally visionary romanticism.’ […] He left behind a prolific record as a visionary architect, painter, designer, teacher and author.”
This house, built in 1980, belongs to the daughter of the original owners, and it looks like a 1980s time capsule with what might well be some of the original furniture. Not much to look at from the pebbled driveway, the layout shows what the New York Times, in Ferri’s obituary, called his “integration of nature into lineal design.” The sweeping front porch leads to double doors and the front hall leads to a cozy living room with a massive fireplace and honey-blond wood floors that extend throughout the house. Though perfectly serviceable, the humble eat-in kitchen could do with some updates and upgrades and the separate dining room spills out to a fenced courtyard deck. The soaring angles of the ceilings in most rooms make for interesting volumes, and glass sliders or French doors make it easy to access the many decks and patio spaces that overlook the natural, wooded grounds. There are four generously sized bedrooms and three full baths, along with a partially finished lower level.
Located in Amagansett’s sought-after Devon area, the house is close to area beaches. Architectural bragging rights, of course, are free with purchase.