I was lucky enough to tour this incredible home and grounds this summer in Columbus Indiana. I knew instantly upon driving through the custom Alexander Girard gates (and this was the former service gate!) that this home was something very special. The home exemplifies the
Construction and Design
The home epitomizes the architectural tradition of Mies Van der Rohe with its open and flowing layout, flat roof, slate and marble walls, travertine flooring and terrazzo outdoor walkways. The home has no interior load bearing walls and is supported by 16 free-standing cruciform steel columns. the roof is criss-crossed with skylight grids that provide ample daylight while the wide exterior overhangs provide shade.
Landscape and Gardens – Dan Kiley
Dan Kiley “designed the outdoor spaces for the home with a clear and strong geometrical order but without conventional symmetry. He was largely concerned with shaping spaces, composing relationships of solids and voids, and manipulating the interplay of volumes, rather than with creating specific garden views or orchestrating complex floral combinations or bloom sequences.” (Bradley C. Brooks, Indianapolis Museum of Art)
My favorites are the weeping beech trees that adorn the front entrance and the western side of the house which create beautiful shadows as the sun sets. The gardens best-known element is the honey locust lined walkway that was once anchored by Henry Moore’s “Draped Reclining Woman” but was sold in 2008 after Xenia’s death. From this vantage point is the gardens greatest view – the vast expanse down the embankment to the distant Flatrock River.