One of the most bizarrely unsettling homes in Miami, a massive castle designed to look very much like a brutalist middle school where capital punishment is still used to keep the students militantly in line, is back on the market for just under $20 million. For the last three months Chateau Artisan, as it is known, has been back out there as a live listing on the MLS for the first time since 2014. Located at 25791 SW 167th Ave, in Homestead, the home was “built to resemble a modern French Chateau” by architect Charles Sieger, who designed it for himself.
The property consists of a large, square main house on an island in a man-made oval lake, which is connected by short bridges to two more islands, one for a motor court main entrance and one for a large swimming pool. Step stones also extend to two small pavilions in the lake, one for dining and one for sleeping. Around the lake, some half-assed attempts at formal French gardens are visible. Mr. Sieger may be an architect, but his skills at landscape design are clearly rather lacking. Although listings and the county property appraiser typically classify the house’s size at about 12,000 square feet, Sieger always seems to insist it’s more like 20,000 square feet, with the phrase “20,000 square feet (per owner)” popping up regularly in the listing description and a published article or two about the property. The true size is, like whatever is at the bottom of that huge lake, a mystery.
Whenever I happen across this house somewhere online (I wrote about it many times at Curbed Miami), I always wonder why an architect with a highly established South Florida firm, who can generally be relied upon to deliver tasteful contemporary architecture, would build himself a place like this. Perhaps he put it out in the boonies, that massive rural hinterland of southwest Miami-Dade County known as the Redlands, thinking nobody would notice it way the heck down there. Of course, in Miami people can get away with mansions, architecture, and even disturbingly ostentatious displays of wealth, such as this. It is after all, in a fascist and post-apocalyptic sort of way quite fun. It would make an epic ready-made shooting location for one of those high-budget fantasy dramas that cable networks and streaming platforms love to pump out when they really want a TV show that grabs the headlines. Game of Thrones, but set in the future? It would be ideal! The Mandalorian needs a foreboding HQ for its new supervillain, a man with a noticeably medieval look who wears a cape even though he never flies? Well, here it is!