Critiquing a high-security bunker McMansion in New York City

McMansions may be designed to impress but what happens if they are built in such a way to push away the outside world? See this example from New York City:

The massive, ground up 7,000-plus-square-foot West Village McMansion belonging to oil heiress Hyatt Bass and her screenwriter husband is being quietly shopped around, the Post has learned. There’s no official listing yet, but Bass hopes to fetch $35 million or more for the fortress home, which was built to be impenetrable following a 2007 incident in which Bass’s mother was held hostage in her own Connecticut abode. Since it was unveiled to the public last year, the bunker home, at Greenwich and West 12th Streets, has made headlines for its incongruous brutalist architecture and ultra-high security features.

Bass purchased the property for $7.5 million in 2001 and has reportedly never occupied the 802 Greenwich Street citadel. Earlier in the year, the compound was brought to our attention by a tipster for failing to shovel out front (Guess no one was there to turn on the heated sidewalks that were installed over the summer.) Someone who recently toured the property told the Post that the it feels “locked-in” and “weird” despite its well-appointed terrace and garden. We have a feeling that this home, built “specifically for this family around their security needs,” is likely to have a hard time selling. When it does, we hope the new owners throw a cornice or any other kind of architectural detail on the misplaced stronghold in the heart of the historic district.

This large home seems to share the odd architectural stylings that tend to mark McMansions. Yet, that odd architecture is often intended to show something positive about the owner, to represent some marker of success or wealth. But, this particular combination of architecture is intended to clearly set the house apart from the public even though it is in a very public setting. Is this even a more in-your-face McMansion because it intentionally pushes people away? Could a home be built that combines the security features found here, the size of this home, and a more welcoming exterior or does privileging security necessarily lead to an outcome like this?

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