The Weston, Connecticut, home of graphic designer Paul Rand is on the market. Paul designed the home with his first wife, Ann Binkley Rand, an architect and author who studied with Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1945. The home was completed in 1953, a few months before the arrival of the couple’s daughter, Catherine.
Set on almost eight acres, the structure is made of black-stained cypress, white Marlite panels, fieldstone and glass. The inviting interior includes a very large studio, a living room with a fireplace set into a fieldstone wall, three compact bedrooms and a modest kitchen. There are no corridors in this home, rather one room flows into the next, each filled with light from a mix of floor-to-ceiling windows, an interior court that’s open to the sky, and skylights.
In its August 1953 issue, Esquire magazine celebrated the house with a story titled: Paul Rand, one of America’s great graphic designers builds a home; a home to live with. The piece opens with: “A man who knew the secrets of living, Henry David Thoreau, once wrote: ‘I sometimes dream of a … house, standing in a golden age, of enduring materials, and without gingerbread work…containing all the essentials of a house, and nothing for housekeeping…’”
“Ann and Paul Rand wanted such a house, too, an enduring, essential house, built for beauty and privacy, security and shelter, peace and an intimacy with its surroundings. So they designed theirs as if this were the first house ever built.”
According to Esquire, the house “by coincidence meets the formula of the ideal setting defined by the Japanese; a hill to the north, a brook to the east, a road to the west, looks to the south. Compact, spacious, it neither tosses the inhabitants out into the open by too much ‘picture-window’ exposure, nor shuts them off from the outdoors by conventional barriers.”
Rand, who has been referred to as the “Picasso of graphic design,” began his career as a magazine cover designer in the 1930s. Ten years later he was an art director on Madison Avenue, shaking up the advertising world with his philosophy that visual language should integrate form and function. To Rand, graphic design was a problem to be solved – not just once, but over and over again.
After his marriage to Ann ended, Paul remained in the home and it’s where he lived until his death in 1996. His second wife, Marion Swannie Rand, passed away in December 2017.
The 3,400-square-foot home is listed with William Pitt / Sotheby’s for $895,000.
The furniture from the home, along with more than 300 works from Paul Rand’s collection – including never before seen paintings and graphics by Rand as well as his personal collection of fine art and design that served as inspiration throughout his career – will be offered by Wright Auction in Chicago on September 13.