An original Marcel Breuer, this iconic house is located in Princeton.
Originally built in the 1950s and recently restored, the Lauck House was modeled after Breuer’s “House in the Garden” commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art in 1949. The exhibit was an attempt to promote Modern Architecture in America while addressing the rise of suburban living for the modern family.
Breuer’s design included ideas that, at the time, were not common practice in single-family residential design. These ideas include children’s areas separate from the parent’s room, a central kitchen overlooking all house activities, a sense of continuous interior/exterior open space, and varying ceiling heights.
Following the exhibition, Breuer was approached by Gerold Lauck who commissioned him to build a house for his son and his wife on a beautifully secluded 3.88-acre lot of family property.
One characteristic of the home that makes it a classic Breuer is the way the south-facing glass façade extends the interior outward to the garden. It captures direct sunlight and heat during the winter days when the sun path is low, while the roof overhangs to create shade during the summer when the sun is higher.
The Lauck House presents a modern masterpiece — simple in form and layout yet rich in its materiality and spaces of intimacy and openness. At 3,300 square feet, the house includes four bedrooms and four bathrooms.
In the 1980s, a different owner added a sunroom and gallery in the home’s southwest corner, extending the slope of the roof while maintaining the footprint of the original design.
Restoration work, done very recently, included scraping the paint of the interior walls to reveal the natural wooden panels and recladding the entire façade with Cyprus wood. Partitions were reconstructed, mid-century steel windows redone (based on the original drawings, schedules, and hardware suppliers), and details were brought back to their original glory.
The restoration work, undertaken by the current owners, was very thoroughly researched and carefully executed, and has received national awards. The work succeeded in shedding new light on a timeless icon, reinforcing the notion that Modern Architecture sought to instill in people that great design has the power to enhance everyday life.
The home, located at 880 Lawrenceville Road, is asking $1,210,000.
Listing: 880 Lawrenceville Road [Zillow]