Luxury living Mid-century modern architecture

Luxury living: Mid-century modern architecture

From Sydney to São Paulo, five exemplars of the iconic mid-20th-century architectural movement — all from Christie’s International Real Estate

This six-acre estate on Blue Heron Lake combines waterfront living with mid-century modern style, within an hour of Midtown Manhattan. Architect David Abelow created the all-steel constructed home with fluid, open-plan living spaces framed by floor-to-ceiling windows that showcase pastoral views from every room. With 200 feet of frontage on the clear waters of Blue Heron Lake, the landscaped grounds include a beach, boat dock, and cottage. 

This modernist retreat in New Canaan was designed in 1961 by James Evans, a student of the great American modernist architect Louis Kahn. The 1,600-square-foot structure has a unique hyperbolic paraboloid roof design with 3,000 square feet of interior space set amid nearly five acres of private wooded grounds. Surrounded by a wraparound deck and walls of windows, the central living area features a living and dining room anchored by a double fireplace and a cherry and granite kitchen, updated with state-of-the-art appliances.

An exceptional example of Sydney's modernist architectural heritage, this striking property overlooking the bushlands of northern Sydney was designed by Philip Cox and awarded the prestigious NSW RAIA Wilkinson Award in 1969. Recently renovated, the five-bedroom, L-shaped main residence has been styled for luxurious contemporary living yet displays signature principles of the Sydney School of architecture throughout: brushbox floors, Oregon ceilings, and cedar rafters and window frames.

This modernist marvel in the exclusive São Paulo neighborhood of Pinheiros was designed by prominent 20th-century Brazilian architects Carlos Lemos and Eduardo Corona. The dramatic 6,000-square-foot residence has been completely refurbished while retaining its original mid-century design motifs, including a beautiful mural created by avant-garde artist Lula Cardoso Ayres. Adding to the glamour are three master suites, a guest house, six-car garage, and tropical gardens with a swimming pool.

This mid-century masterpiece overlooks Lake Lugano in the foothills of Mount Salvatore. The centrepieces of the estate are two nearly identical villas designed in 1962 by Frank Lloyd Wright studios’ architect L. Chiesa. Perfectly integrated with the surrounding natural landscape, each two-storey structure features a flat roof and flowing indoor-outdoor living areas, which connect to a swimming pool and 1.78 acres of secluded Mediterranean-inspired gardens.