The late French architect and designer Thierry Despont, named to Architectural Digest’s AD100 2023 Hall of Fame before he died in August, was known around the world for his artistic eye, refined taste, and exacting standards.
He worked on the restoration of the Statue of Liberty, and he designed the interiors of the hyper-luxe supertall tower at 220 Central Park South while also designing homes for industry titans and social powerhouses such as Bill Gates, Calvin Klein, Jayne Wrightsman, Annette and Oscar de la Renta, and Conrad Black. He collaborated over three decades on many homes for Peggy and Mickey Drexler, and he once remodeled a Manhattan mansion for Leslie Wexner that later became the home of Jeffrey Epstein.
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While all his commissions reflect an intimate relationship between client and architect/designer, none of his commissions are as personal as The Rosewood Farm Estate, his weekend retreat, art studio, and creative workshop in the Hamptons.
The estate, once home to the Southampton Riding & Hunt Club, was purchased by Despont, according to tax records, in a series of transactions between 2011 and 2013, with a total outlay of almost $8.5 million. The property was subsequently transformed into a private residential compound that is relaxed, refined, and deeply personal.
The 5,500-square-foot, six-bedroom primary residence, once the riding club’s main barn, embraces a central cobblestone patio-courtyard with a fountain at its center. The property also includes a separate four-bedroom guest house or caretaker’s residence, a pool house converted from a stabling block, and a converted barn/four-car garage, which also served as the multifaceted creative powerhouse’s art studio.
Just about every room in the main residence, including the fireside living room and wood-paneled study, overlooks the expansive cobblestone terrace. The slate-floored dining room includes an open butler’s pantry and serving bar, and the updated kitchen is simple and functional. Guest bedrooms boast an eye-catching array of striped carpets and gingham wallcoverings, while the primary bedroom’s walls and vaulted ceiling gleam with vermillion lacquer.
A vast lawn with a tree-lined path along one side lies between the main house and the swimming pool and pool house. In addition to being a world-class architect, Despont was an accomplished sculptor and painter known for his metal sculptures of insects and orbs and his “Cabinets of Curiosities.” One of his lunar-inspired works hangs in a poolside lounge. The pool house also includes a workout room, sauna, and steam shower.
South of the main house, a walking path crosses a picturesque meadow and leads to a gazebo amid mature specimen trees from Africa. The property abuts another 50 acres of agricultural reserve.
Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic Paul Goldberger recently toured the property and described it as “a grand estate and a highly personal, intimate residence, where elegance and casualness are in perfect harmony. The architecture and the landscaping are both understated yet deeply luxurious, and every room is a composition that shows Despont’s inventive and cultivated eye. The atmosphere throughout is what I can only call sumptuous restraint. It is like no other property I’ve seen in the Hamptons.”
Now priced at $19.95 million and exclusively represented by Douglas Elliman agents Michaela Keszler, Paul Brennan, and Martha Gundersen, the bucolic 34-acre spread was first put on the market last year for $23.5 million.
Click here for more photos of Thierry Despont’s Hampton’s estate.
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