I didn’t know Francis Fleetwood, who died in May, but his legacy is everywhere, especially in the more than 200 houses he designed in the Hamptons. An architect on the level of Robert A.M. Stern, Michael Graves, and Richard Meier, he is credited with reviving shingle-style architecture on the South Fork in the mid-1980s (see “Deeds & Don’ts,” page 68). Inspired by such architects as Stanford White, he built homes on a grand scale, with soaring windows and amply sized rooms, huge porches, and eyebrow windows. These “cottages” were the inspiration for the name of HC&G (Hamptons Cottages & Gardens), launched in 2002 with a tongue-in-cheek emphasis on the word “cottages.”
Fleetwood’s high-profile client list included Alec Baldwin and Paul McCartney, and who can’t forget the Fleetwood-designed home that had a starring role in the movie Something’s Gotta Give? “It had the most-desired kitchen in the United States,” says James McMullan, his partner in Fleetwood & McMullan architects.
Just last week, another giant in the field of architecture, Richard Meier, received HC&G’s special Innovator Award at the 2015 Innovation in Design Awards at Guild Hall. Known for his largely white, geometric structures—and for his love of white in general—he became world famous upon the completion of his design for the Getty Center museum complex in Los Angeles in 1997. His other commissions include the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art and the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills, city halls in the Hague and San Jose, and residential towers on Perry Street in Manhattan.
These two men are at the top of an enormous wave of talent that has changed the face of architecture in the Hamptons, which includes the terrific firms whose work is featured in this issue. Enjoy!