Nilay Oza, a project architect for the well-known Houses at Sagaponac,
in the Hamptons on Long Island, has found that real estate developers
want to emulate this Modernist enclave. “I advise people about economies
of scale, and finding constants between different designs,” he says of
phone calls he’s fielded from throughout the U.S.
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Although only seven of the 32 planned Houses at Sagaponac are finished,
developers are citing that and other precedents, including the New
Urbanist community Aqua, in Miami, Florida, Prospect New Town, in
Colorado, and the Case Study Houses of 1945–1966 for their own similar
projects. Even in regions not normally associated with a Modernist
residential tradition developers are creating subdivisions that offer
smorgasbords of contemporary architecture. American Institute of
Architects chief economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, calls the schemes
“very 2003 or 2004, in that they express this sky’s-the-limit mentality
that as opposed to today’s realities.” Yet he and developers believe
that this extremely small niche could better withstand the housing
downturn than more traditional single-family product.