Robert Venturi's Vanna Venturi House is now for sale. Said to be one of the top 10 buildings that "changed America," the house was originally designed and built by the Pritzker Prize laureate for his mother in 1964. The home's most recent owner, University of Pennsylvania professor Dr. Thomas P. Hughes passed away in February 2015, leaving the historic residence to his daughter who is now selling the home.
The Vanna Venturi House: Robert Venturi's groundbreaking design for his mother is one of the most influential buildings of the latter half of the 20th century. Named one of the "10 Buildings That Changed America" and widely considered the first post-modern building in the United States, to say it is notable among architects is an understatement. Many world-renowned building designers and critics have made pilgrimages to this residence, hidden in the heart of Chestnut Hill, and it has been the subject of numerous essays and critiques and was memorialized in 2005 on a U.S. postage stamp. Beautifully maintained and true to its original design, this small house showcases big ideas at every turn. To the amateur eye it can be puzzling, but with some education about its juxtaposition of traditional design against more complex forms, its status as a groundbreaking residential design becomes clear. The interior is designed around rectangular, diagonal and curving elements. Shifts in ceiling volume and windows in traditional and surprising places create an ever-changing light inside. Surrounding this most notable house is much of its original landscape plan, which has been lovingly maintained including an arc of crab apple trees, shade gardens and sunny perennial beds.