A Look at One of Legendary Architect Charles Gwathmey’s Final Projects

Huh. You learn something new every day, it’s said, and today that happens to be true. We’d long believed that the last project of legendary architect Charles Gwathmey, who passed away just shy of two years ago, was his much-discussed and debated addition to Paul Rudolph‘s Art & Architecture Building on Yale’s campus, which was completed in 2008. Turns out, that wasn’t the case at all. Architectural Digest has a story about a residence Gwathmey was working on at the time of his death in St. Barts, in the Caribbean. The architect’s last visit was in May of 2009, shortly before his death just three months later, at which time he dictated further notes on the project with the architect from his firm he’d brought along to help him complete it, Kang Chang. A longtime employee of Gwathmey’s, Change tells AD about his somewhat accidentally hiring at the firm, and how he finished the St. Barts project after his mentor’s passing. It’s both an interesting, at times touching profile on the internationally renowned and gruff architect, but the gold is in AD‘s included slideshow of images of the finished house — a testament to, even so close to death, Gwathmey was in top form. Here’s a brief description:

Inspired by the steepness of the site, Gwathmey conceived of a collection of separate pavilions — a private, pristine hill town, as it were. The plan consisted loosely of two levels: On the lower would be six guest villas, one of which would hold a living room, kitchen, dining area, and gym. On the more private upper level would be a master bedroom villa, plus another containing a living room, dining room, and kitchen. Each level would have its own pool and terrace.