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Frieze London: 3 Ultramodern Contemporary Homes

Inspired by the 20th anniversary of Frieze London, one of the world’s most influential contemporary art fairs, Luxury Defined spotlights a collection of ultramodern homes

Every age has considered itself “modern” and “contemporary,” and transmitted that self-image through its art and architecture.

Here on offer is a message from our own age: masterpieces of modern and contemporary art at Frieze London, one of the world’s most influential art fairs, underway in The Regent’s Park in the heart of the British capital until October 15. 

Frieze London is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year in what promises to be the biggest and most international edition to date. On offer: 21st-century works from over 1,000 of today’s leading and up-and-coming artists from more than 160 galleries spanning 46 countries.

Its sister fair, Frieze Masters, is a showcase of pre-2000 artworks and features a special section dedicated to women artists. 

Inspired by Frieze London, Luxury Defined spotlights three exemplars of contemporary residential architecture. 

In these sleek, contemporary forms, luxury, comfort, and elegant design engage with the world and what critic Robert Hughes called the engine of modernism: “the shock of the new.” 

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In the heart of London’s W1, The Great Portland is a new luxury residential and retail development designed by architect Simon Bowden.

Its bright, limestone façade is punctuated by bronze-framed lantern bay windows and cast aluminum balustrades inspired by Japanese porcelain.  

Accessed via elevator to the building’s fifth floor, this sleek 926-square-foot apartment has an open-concept layout with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, an integrated living and dining space, and a minimalist kitchen with marble finishes and top-of-the-line appliances.  

The residence is elegantly appointed throughout with oak floors and floor-to-ceiling bay windows bringing in the light and the views of Great Portland Street, the unifying line between the historic Central London neighborhoods of Marylebone and Fitzrovia. Great Portland Street underground station is just steps away.  

3. 1856 N Mohawk Street, Chicago, Illinois 

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The elegant open spaces and geometries of mid-century modern architecture complete this light-filled residence designed by Dirk Lohan, grandson and apprentice of architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. 

Nestled in the upscale Chicago neighborhood of Lincoln Park, the four-story, 8,700-square-foot house hides its spaciousness behind a strong, horizontal façade of glass, wood, and stone. Inside, a travertine marble foyer opens to a breathtaking, four-story Miesian floating staircase that rises to a 1,100-square-foot roof deck with treetop views. 

There are five bedrooms, four full bathrooms and two partial baths. The dining room with its white paneled walls is served by a sleek white kitchen with pantry, wet breakfast bar, Dekton counters, Gaggenau and Miele appliances, and leads to a patio primed for alfresco dining. 

The primary suite offers an expansive walk-in closet and a Carrara marble bathroom. The third level unfolds with a second great room, two bedroom suites, an office with a wood-burning fireplace, and a well-lit gym. 

Infrastructure upgrades throughout the house include new flooring, updated bathrooms, Lutron lighting, surround sound, smart security technology, and a four-story elevator. The four-car heated garage provides EV charging stations.  

3. Amarra Residence, Austin, Texas 

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This contemporary hilltop home is one of the exclusive Amarra Villas at Barton Creek, a 4,000-acre resort community about 10 miles from downtown Austin.  

The late Austin modernist architect Dick Clark designed the residence with a clear continuity between the indoor and outdoor spaces.  

The exterior and interior walls are crafted from locally sourced, smooth-cut limestone. Full-height windows and sliding glass doors throughout infuse the interiors with natural light and selectively frame the views of the courtyard and out towards Texas Hill Country. There’s also an open-air roof deck with sweeping vistas of Barton Creek Fazio Canyons Golf Course.  

The expansive 7,660-square-foot floor plan includes five bedrooms, six-and-a-half bathrooms, a great room, an office, and a dream kitchen for chefs and entertainers alike.  

The centerpiece of the home is a private, fully enclosed patio with a lap pool and spa, cold plunge pool, summer kitchen, and a sunken seating area with fire pit.  

Downstairs, a versatile bonus room currently serves as a game room but can easily adapt to a wellness suite, fitness studio, or guest quarters. A wall of windows offers another glimpse of Hill Country. 

Searching for a contemporary masterpiece? Explore the collection.