A home designed by renowned artist and Chinese political activist Ai Weiwei has hit the market for $5.25 million.

Photo courtesy of Michael Bowman Photography

Located two hours north of New York City in Ancram, the estate was envisioned as a weekend retreat for  Christopher Tsai, a longtime collector of Ai’s art. It’s the only residential home Ai has designed in the United States, however, in the past, the artist has designed residences in Germany and China, including a personal studio that was razed by Beijing authorities in 2018.

As first reported by 6sft, the home was designed in partnership with Swiss-based HHF Architects and is meant to fall in line with the surrounding woodsy environment — inspired by the humble shed, the outside is composed of four models of corrugated metal while the inside is made up of wooden walls.

Photo courtesy of Michael Bowman Photography

Nature plays a significant role in the home’s design. The 3,500-square-foot main house sits on a 34-acre plot of land. It also comes with three fireplaces, its own heat generator and complete views of the surrounding hills and forests. Graham Klemm of Klemm Real Estate is selling the home but did not immediately return Inman’s request for comment.

Ai envisioned each of the modules to serve as living spaces, a studio and an art gallery. The current owners are themselves art collectors. They purchased the home in 2013 for $4.25 million.

Photo courtesy of Michael Bowman Photography

Born in 1957, Ai worked on projects such as the Beijing Olympic Stadium for the 2008 Olympic Games and the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in London.

He is also known for symbolic pieces such as “Dropping of a Han Dynasty Urn” and, above all, his activism. Ai’s art and photography pieces frequently criticize the intolerance of the Chinese government’s stance on democracy and human rights. His stances have caused him to be routinely persecuted and jailed in his home country.

Photo courtesy of Michael Bowman Photography

Email Veronika Bondarenko

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