Sunday, November 27, 2011

'Floating' house by Taliesen-trained architect fetches $4.34 million

Paradise Valley
Courtesy of High Res Medi This 10,000-square-foot home in Paradise Valley sold at auction recently for $4.34 million. The one-acre property near 32nd Street and Lincoln Drive includes 4 bedrooms, 5 1/2 baths, a wine cellar and 4-car garage.

A Paradise Valley home sold at auction last month for $4.34 million, one of the highest prices paid recently for a 1-acre property in the town.

The four-bedroom, 5½-bath home of more than 9,500 square feet is southeast of 32nd Street and Lincoln Drive with views of Camelback Mountain, Piestewa Peak and the Valley's city lights.

The contemporary home was designed by architect Charles Schiffner, the former son-in-law of Frank Lloyd Wright. He trained for 15 years at Wright's Taliesin West in Scottsdale.

"I think it's a fair price," Schiffner said.

Schiffner added that Wright often said that "good architecture is good business."

Linda Masaryk hired Schiffner to design the home on a hillside lot that presented challenges in adhering to Paradise Valley's building codes for mountainous terrain.

"I floated the home over the site and you walk underneath it to get to the front door," Schiffner said.

Steel beams, thick walls

The main living space has floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking a zero-edge reflecting pool.

It is built with thick concrete walls and exposed steel beams. Amenities include a wine cellar, game room, elevator, four-car garage and a separate guest suite.

There was much interest in the 2-year-old home before the Oct. 20 auction, said Maverick Commins, a principal of Supreme Auctions. He sold the property to an unidentified couple who outbid 10 other prospective buyers.

"There are views from every single window in this house," Commins said. "I was there twice for sunsets that were just spectacular."

The buyers had been looking for properties in the Valley for about five years and could not find what they wanted until they saw this property, Commins said.

He is a strong advocate for selling luxury homes via auctions.

Lots of luxury inventory

There is no shortage of luxury homes in Paradise Valley to sell.

Since Oct. 1, 10 homes in the town have sold for more than $2 million, said Tom Tischer, ReMax Excalibur associate broker.

That included a 9,185-square-foot home on 3 acres in Clearwater Hills that recently sold for $5.5 million. The home on Longlook Road was on the market for more than 14 months.

"It's encouraging to see that kind of activity," said Tischer, chairman of the Scottsdale Luxury Home Tour.

There is a lot of luxury-home inventory in Paradise Valley "that is overpriced, it's a dog or both," he said.

Prices have dropped to 2003 levels and some sellers are still trying to get 2007 prices, Tischer said.

Contemporary-design homes like Schiffner's are in a much shorter supply. Kurt Warner's multimillion-dollar home on Cheney Drive is among the available choices for buyers, Tischer said, but it's not as impressive as the house that Schiffner designed.

"That's a stunning house," he added.

Schiffner is pleased with the way the home turned out but is not ready to say it's his favorite design.

He quoted Wright who always said "the next one" was his favorite or most successful design.

by Peter Corbett The Arizona Republic Nov. 22, 2011 08:28 AM

'Floating' house by Taliesen-trained architect fetches $4.34 million

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