Torf House, the Brutalist-style home outside Boston commissioned by noted 20th-century print collector
Lois B. Torf
and her husband, entrepreneur
Michael K. Torf,
is on the market for $2.495 million.
The 1971 home, which is sited on nearly 1.5 acres in Weston is one of four Brutalist-style concrete homes in the area designed by architects Mary Otis
and Thomas F.
and is the only one that has not been modified during its half-century history, said Dean Poritzky of
& Völkers Wellesley, who listed the property last week.
“There’s a simplicity to the architecture that’s wonderful,” he said. “The floor plan is curved, there’s a circle within a circle, a curve within a curve. You’ll never find another home like this.”
Lois B. Torf, a benefactor of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and a trustee and honorary trustee of the institution since 1985, died in September 2020 shortly before her 94th birthday; her husband, Michael, died in 1988.
In recognition of the couple’s contributions, in 1983, the museum’s Lois B. Torf and Michael K. Torf Gallery was named in their honor.
The property is being sold by their daughter,
“The light in the house is just extraordinary,”
said. “There’s a kind of fluidity of architecture because there are very few right angles. It’s exuberant; there are no barriers to movement, so interactions are possible, but there also are places for privacy.”
Ms. Torf, a nonprofit financial consultant and professional pianist and composer who has lived in San Francisco since the 1990s, was in high school when her parents commissioned the house.
She noted that some of the furnishings such as the dining room’s glass table, the living room’s curved sofas, the den’s sectional sofa and the study’s desk, are included in the sale price.
“My mother befriended a lot of young artists and had them make some of the furniture for her,” she said. “The dining room table, for instance, is by
who also created the two neon signs on the back of the house.”
noted that the home retains all of its original built-in cabinetry, which is strikingly high-tech.
“The blender, the toaster and the can opener in the kitchen pop up from the cabinets with the push of a button,” he said. “And the scales in the bathroom pull out of the cabinetry.”
He added that the home’s walls are decorated with prints from Torf’s collection.
“You look in the dining room and there’s a
and a Picasso and a
” he said.
The 3,081-square-foot home, whose amenities include a fireplace, a swimming pool and a skylight, has three bedrooms and four bathrooms.
“Weston is comparable to Greenwich, Connecticut,” Mr. Poritzky said, adding that it’s only a 15- to 20-minute drive from Boston. “It’s one of the city’s most desirable suburbs and has the finest homes.”
Stevens and McNulty, the architects, are best known for the Lincoln House, which they designed in 1965 for their own family on a rural site in the Boston suburb the home takes its name from. The house, which they sold in 1978, was demolished in 2001.
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Brutalist architecture, a style that surfaced in 1950s in the U.K. during post-World War II construction, is aptly named: Its minimalist construction is designed to showcase building materials and structural elements.
Ms. Torf, who is 66, says it’s hard to part with the house and hopes the buyers will love it as much as she and her family did when they lived there.
“I have a sense of having to capture all the memories I can before letting go of the structure,” she said, adding that she’s been visiting the property while she’s in town.
This article originally appeared on Mansion Global.