Launch Slideshow

marcel breuer “house in the garden” (lauck house, 1950), princeton, n.j.

restoration / preservation / merit

marcel breuer “house in the garden” (lauck house, 1950), princeton, n.j.

restoration / preservation / merit

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    Jeff Tryon


    Guided by the original plans, Sara and Rafi Segal removed some partitions on the second floor to open it to the living areas below.

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    Jeff Tryon

    Window profiles were also restored to their original design, improving the sense of connectivity to the outdoors.

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    Jeff Tryon

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    Jeff Tryon

    At the time it was built in 1950, this house was unique not only in form but in the way the modern family can organize itself in space, says architect Rafi Segal, " in terms of the separation of adults and kids and the central openness of the kitchen. A l

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    Sara Segal, LEED AP, and Rafi Segal

    The project’s first-floor plan.

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    Sara Segal, LEED AP, and Rafi Segal

    The project’s second-floor plan.

sara segal, leed ap, and rafi segal, princeton

A few judicious moves reclaimed this vintage Marcel Breuer home, whose design was based on a house he exhibited at The Museum of Modern Art in 1949. Architects Sara Segal, LEED AP, and Rafi Segal restored the house for themselves, using archival research as a guide in stripping paint from plywood walls, rebuilding partitions, and restoring window profiles.

The Rockefeller Foundation, which owns the exhibit house, supplied a color analysis keyed to today's paint colors. “Breuer had a special blue that was a combination of blue, white, and gray,” says Rafi Segal. “The white has a bit of yellow in it, and these nuances make a huge difference.”

“This house could easily have been torn down,” a judge said of the restoration's rigor. “It's a good precedent that they kept it.”

principals in charge / project architects: Sara Segal, LEED AP, RMJM, Princeton, N.J., and Rafi Segal, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, New York City
general contractors: Chris Brenner, Brenner Painting Associates, Ewing, N.J., and Rob Faucett, R. Faucett Construction, Flemington, N.J.
project size: 3,700 square feet
site size: 3.88 acres
construction cost: Withheld
photography: Jeff Tryon.

product specs
countertops: DuPont (Zodiaq); flooring (carpet): Texstyle; flooring (ceramic tile/stone/concrete): ARDEX Engineered Cements, Dal-Tile Corp.; hardware: Blaine Window Hardware; kitchen fittings: DuPont; kitchen fixtures: Grohe America; paints/stains/wall finishes: The Sherwin-Williams Co.; refrigerator: Viking Range Corp.