On The Market
Home of Menil director offers modern simplicity and art gallery grandeur for $1.1 million
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After serving as director of the Menil Collection for the past 12 years, Josef Helfenstein is leaving the museum and returning to his native Switzerland where he will serve as director of the Kunstmuseum Basel. Departing Houston in December, the modern home he has shared with his wife, Dorothee Sauter Helfenstein, and two sons is on the market — and it's located right down the street from the Menil.
The home, which was featured in the New York Times, was designed for the Helfensteins by Nonya Grenader, a native Houstonian and a professor at the Rice University School of Architecture.
What's inside: Featuring steel-framed floor-to-ceiling windows, white walls and white oak floors, finished in the same way as the floors at the nearby Cy Twombly Gallery, the two-story home has a distinctly modern yet comfortable feel. As the Times observed, it "has the simple grandeur of an art gallery. Ceilings are 10 feet high on the first floor, and steel-framed windows (many of them facing the garden) let in plenty of light, reinforcing the sense of spaciousness."
The home features three bedrooms, three full bathrooms and one half bathroom, as well as a spacious living room, a study and a garage. The kitchen comes with custom-built cabinetry, a large island, Corian countertops and stylish high-end appliances. Attached to the bright master bedroom is the spacious master bath with a double-sink vanity and a large, glassed-in shower.
A corrugated aluminum roof connects the 1,840-square-foot main house to the 360-square-foot guest quarters and 300-square-foot garage. The two sections of the home are separated by a covered double-height porch with views of the garden, making it a nice setting for outdoor entertaining.
Situated on a 7,398-square-foot lot on a cul-de-sac just a block away from the Menil Collection, the home reflects the quiet elegance of the nearby museum and the wooden cottages that populate the area.
Square footage: 2,500
Asking price: $1,150,000
Listing agent: David Houston with New Leaf Real Estate