Blue Dream and the Legacy of Modernism in the Hamptons
The story of the creation of an astonishing house that renews and reinvigorates the spirit of the avant-garde in the Hamptons
Architecture critic Paul Goldberger tells the story of an extraordinary house on the Atlantic Double Dunes in East Hampton—Blue Dream, the result of a remarkable collaboration between collectors Julie Reyes Taubman and Robert Taubman, architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro, builder Ed Bulgin, landscape architect Michael Boucher and designer Michael Lewis, who sought to renew the legacy of modernist architecture and art in the Hamptons.
Goldberger offers insight into the complex process by which an architectural idea generated a work that stands as the most striking addition of our time to the roster of architecturally ambitious modernist houses on Long Island. As he notes, "There are relatively few books devoted to the architecture of a single house, but what is clear if you read any of them is that they are stories about clients as much as about architects." So it is with Blue Dream. The Taubmans were inspired by the avant-garde spirit of artists and architects who settled and worked in the Hamptons and set out to create a house like no other, a house whose complex curving forms could only be built using the composite material used to make fighter jets.
Iwan Baan's photographic portfolio documents Blue Dream across four seasons. Goldberger’s text is illustrated with images of earlier modernist houses that inspired the project, as well as documentation of the design process involved in the making of Blue Dream itself.
Paul Goldberger (born 1950), whom the Huffington Post has called "the leading figure in architecture criticism," is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair magazine. Goldberger began his career at the New York Times in 1972 and was appointed architecture critic at the paper in 1973, working alongside Ada Louise Huxtable until 1982. In 1984, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Criticism, the highest award in journalism. As architecture critic for the New Yorker (1997–2011), he wrote the magazine’s celebrated "Sky Line" column. After serving as dean of the Parsons School of Design from 2004 to 2006, Goldberger was named the Joseph Urban Professor of Design at the New School. He is the author of Why Architecture Matters (2023), Building Art: The Life and Work of Frank Gehry (2015), Building Up and Tearing Down: Reflections on the Age of Architecture (2009), Beyond the Dunes: A Portrait of the Hamptons, with photographer Jake Rajs (2018) and Houses of the Hamptons (1986), among other publications.