The Lieb House
HOUSE IN BARNEGAT LIGHT, LONG BEACH ISLAND, NJ AND GLEN COVE, NY
Architects: Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates, Inc.
Location: Barnegat Light, Long Beach Island, NJ, and Glen Cove, NY
This is an ordinary little house with conventional elements used in unexpected and exciting ways. This is a little house with big scale, at home in its context, but also strange and different from the houses around it. It stands up to, rather than ignores, the streetscape of telephone poles.
The house incorporates big elements, like the stair that starts out the width of the house and gradually narrows as it rises to the second floor. And it features shingles with imitation wood-grain relief — the traditional indigenous building material of Long Beach Island.
But the house’s unconventional elements are explicitly extraordinary when they do occur — as in the big round window that looks like a 1930s radio speaker. Another unconventional element is the placement of the living room on the second floor to allow good views of the ocean.
In 2009, the property was sold, and the structure was threatened with demolition to make way for a new, larger house. James Venturi, son of Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown, led the effort to relocate the structure to an ocean- front location in Glen Cove, NY, where it became a guest house and companion of another house designed by Mr. Venturi. Many of the elements which made the house appropriate for its original location — like the views from the living room — benefit it in its new location.