When you’re avid art collectors like the owners of the Tsai Residence and Guest House, you probably won’t be too impressed with a typical rectangular structure to house your masterpieces. That’s where Swiss-based firm HHF Architects and world-famous Chinese artist Ai Weiwei come in. Working together, they created a unique Y-shaped guest house for the couple’s Ancram, New York property. Each of the home’s three wings has a specific purpose–bedroom, workroom, and art gallery. The simple and effective design “served to link these elements at isolated points and to define the overall appearance of the guesthouse.”
China’s most provocative artist can add architect to his already extensive resume. Known around the world for his contemporary artwork and political activism, Ai Weiwei has also had a hand in designing this sprawling compound in upstate New York.
Located in bucolic Ancram — just a two-hour drive from New York City — the Tsai Residence was originally commissioned by a pair of Upper East Side art collectors. The 2,800-square-foot structure was completed in 2006 and put back on the market a few years later in 2013 for a whopping $4.25 million. But the hefty price tag comes with a unique distinction — it’s the only house in the United States that Ai has ever designed.