By George Upton
For a starchitect-designed villa
Set into the rock on the prestigious Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat peninsula in southern France, this modern five-bedroom home looks out across the Bay of Villefranche and along the coast. The property, which is on the market for €46mn, was designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel as a series of greenhouses on five levels, with each space facing the sea. The surrounding landscaped gardens ensure that the house is private, despite the expansive views of the Mediterranean from both the interior and the various terraces, where there is an outdoor dining area and swimming pool.
For a Moroccan palace
This nine-bedroom palace in Tangier was once owned by American heiress Barbara Hutton, who bought it following the breakdown of her marriage to film star Cary Grant. Hutton was once considered to be one of the wealthiest women in the world — having inherited $50mn from her grandfather, the founder of Woolworth's — and spent the summers here between 1947 and 1975, throwing lavish balls and flying in musicians from around the world. The property consists of two parts: a bright modern space and a more traditional, Moroccan-style area with intricate carved wooden and stone features and zellige, a type of mosaic tilework. The palace has been carefully restored by subsequent owners and has several courtyards and terraces with views over the city to the Bay of Tangier. The property is on the market for €6.5mn.
For a jungle retreat
The Sanctuary at Two Rivers is a modern 11-bedroom property on the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica. Conceived as a retreat from modern life, the compound is located in a remote position in the jungle and was designed by local architectural firm Luz de Piedra, which drew inspiration from traditional Japanese and mid-century modern architecture. As well as seven casitas, or cabins, that house the bedrooms, there is a large kitchen with views of the nearby waterfalls, an open-plan pagoda, outdoor dining area and swimming pool. The property, which is on the market for $2mn, has been run as a yoga and wellness retreat since 2012 but can easily be converted for private use.
For an idiosyncratic home
This distinctive five-bedroom house (main picture, top) is situated in a quiet area on the outskirts of Cluj-Napoca, a city in Romania. Known as “The house without corners”, the property is notable for its Art Nouveau-inspired design that includes custom Siberian larch wood joinery, stained glass windows reminiscent of Louis Comfort Tiffany and a central glass mosaic tree, whose branches twist up the stairs to form the bannisters. The property also has an open plan attic space, which includes a bar, home cinema with projector and retractable screen, a dining area for 12 and views over the city. The house is on the market for €2mn.
For a Modernist marvel
Water Run is a five-bedroom property near the Hudson River in New York state designed by architects Edgar Kaufmann jr and Paul Mayén. Completed in 1975, the house consists of a single-storey oval space with an open plan kitchen and living area and semicircular gallery spaces on either end. This is connected to a three-storey building — which includes bedrooms, a gym and swimming pool — by a long curving glazed corridor.
The extensive landscaped gardens feature two classic Greco-Roman-style pavilions, a grotto and tennis court, and recall the search for harmony between humanity and environment of architect Frank Lloyd Wright. (Fallingwater, Wright’s most celebrated work, was commissioned by Kaufmann jr’s father in 1935. When Kaufmann jr donated Fallingwater to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy in 1963, Mayén designed the visitor’s centre.) Water Run is on the market for $2.695mn.
Photography: Knight Frank; Christie’s International Real Estate; Costa Rica Sotheby's International Realty; Romania Sotheby's International Realty; Ellis Sotheby's International Realty