In 1997, LIFE Magazine commissioned the renowned American architect Hugh Newell Jacobsen to design a unique, affordable and modern house that could be purchased by just about anyone who was considering building a new house. Most of Jacobsen's clients were well-heeled business tycoons, movie stars - and even kings and queens. Jacobsen was, however, known for his simple approach to residential design and three quarters of his incredible yet modest practice were houses. Elegant and geometrical forms, intuitive and compartmentalized floor plans, formal distinctive spaces and most importantly, an abundance of air and light, defined Jacobsen's epochal style.  Nominated four times for The American Institute of Architects Gold Medal (the highest honor one can receive in architecture), Hugh Newell Jacobsen maintained a relatively small practice in Washington, DC. While other peer architects were focusing on mega buildings and high-rise commissions, Jacobsen kept a forceful but quiet pace by refining his vision of the American house and how he thought people should "live, and look better" he says. His obsession with the details of "what makes a good building good" allowed him to rise at an early stage in his career to be largely a household name in the architecture profession today. In 2007, Hugh Newell Jacobsen's professional company, reorganized with Jacobsen's son, Simon Jacobsen; together, they formed the venerable architecture firm ubiquitously known today as Jacobsen Architecture, LLC.  Despite many awards and accolades since, right out of architecture school Simon Jacobsen was the project captain of the 1998 Life Magazine Dream House, personally assisting in hundreds of Dream House projects nationally and internationally.   150 awards later - for excellence in architecture, interiors and furniture design - Hugh and Simon continue in the legacy of their work together.

 

In 1997, LIFE Magazine commissioned the renowned American architect Hugh Newell Jacobsen to design a unique, affordable and modern house that could be purchased by just about anyone who was considering building a new house.

Most of Jacobsen's clients were well-heeled business tycoons, movie stars - and even kings and queens. Jacobsen was, however, known for his simple approach to residential design and three quarters of his incredible yet modest practice were houses.

Elegant and geometrical forms, intuitive and compartmentalized floor plans, formal distinctive spaces and most importantly, an abundance of air and light, defined Jacobsen's epochal style. 

Nominated four times for The American Institute of Architects Gold Medal (the highest honor one can receive in architecture), Hugh Newell Jacobsen maintained a relatively small practice in Washington, DC. While other peer architects were focusing on mega buildings and high-rise commissions, Jacobsen kept a forceful but quiet pace by refining his vision of the American house and how he thought people should "live, and look better" he says.

His obsession with the details of "what makes a good building good" allowed him to rise at an early stage in his career to be largely a household name in the architecture profession today.

In 2007, Hugh Newell Jacobsen's professional company, reorganized with Jacobsen's son, Simon Jacobsen; together, they formed the venerable architecture firm ubiquitously known today as Jacobsen Architecture, LLC. 

Despite many awards and accolades since, right out of architecture school Simon Jacobsen was the project captain of the 1998 Life Magazine Dream House, personally assisting in hundreds of Dream House projects nationally and internationally.  

150 awards later - for excellence in architecture, interiors and furniture design - Hugh and Simon continue in the legacy of their work together.

Selected works by Jacobsen Architecture...

 

After studying under the great Louis Kahn at Yale University and apprenticing under Philip Johnson, Hugh Newell Jacobsen began his own private practice in 1958 in Washington, D.C. 

 

Hugh Newell Jacobsen designed the “1998 Life Dream House," a promotion by Life Magazine where famed architects designed homes and plans that were made publicly available. Lending his archetypal and indelibly seminal blueprint to the Dream House project, Jacobsen's "H-style" design grew in high demand among families yearning for the American Dream - through the perfect and affordable home. 

 

 
Photo: Jim Weaver

Photo: Jim Weaver