REAL ESTATE

Who Wants to Be King? Richard Meier's White Castle Is Up for Grabs at $11.8M

  • The squared fireplace underneath a private balcony.

    The squared fireplace underneath a private balcony.

  • The atrium-like wall of glass shines light on art and the winding ramp.

    The atrium-like wall of glass shines light on art and the winding ramp.

  • A staircase curls from the first floor to the fourth.

    A staircase curls from the first floor to the fourth.

Want to be the king of White Castle? You don't need to pull a sword from a stone or steam thousands of burgers -- you'll just need $11.8 million.

Architect Richard Meier built this 11,000-square-foot architectural wonder in 1972 in Old Westbury, NY, and dubbed it White Castle. Since then, the interior has been updated by the home's current occupant, a prominent New York City -- based architect.

When the architect purchased the home in 2000, he took an entire year to perform renovations before moving in, listing agent Lois Kirschenbaum says.

The architect didn't alter Meier's structure. Instead, he focused on the interior, shrinking the number of bedrooms from 10 to six, making room for more living space and a third-floor gym.

There are three ways to access the various levels of the four-story house: a dramatic circular staircase in the middle of the first floor's great room, a ramp that winds its way from top to bottom, and a staircase out back.

"The ramps are unique -- you feel like you're in a museum when you're in there," Kirschenbaum says.

That's a good thing -- the house is white inside and out, allowing for dramatic displays of artwork. Natural light fills the house from multiple windows, including a wall of curved, atriumlike glass. "You never have to turn the lights on during the day," Kirschenbaum says, noting that all the windows were replaced when the home was renovated.

So why did Meier dub it White Castle? Sure, it's big and white -- but the name is bound to make people wonder about a beefy tie-in. In an interview with The Real Deal, Meier denied the White Castle burger chain directly inspired his trademark use of white. However, he did say he liked the slider-slinging company's "white metal panel" at a young age.

The inspiration behind this house actually comes from the Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier and his Villa Savoye. Aside from the structural similarities, you can see Le Corbusier's direct influence on the home's pivoting front door:

The house has hardwood floors in the living spaces and white Thassos marble flooring in each of the four bathrooms and the updated kitchen. The great room features a square, cubist-style fireplace.

White Castle reigns over 4.73 acres of lush land, which includes a swimming pool, pond, helipad, and tennis court. You can also have horses on the property, which would be useful if a jousting tournament match suddenly broke out. But who will be its next ruler?

Kirschenbaum says this place is perfect for an art collector, as its stark white palette provides "the perfect backdrop" for an art collection. The homeowner is looking to downsize after 15 years in the property.