My parents were visiting this past week and so in true 'holiday with my dad' fashion we went on an architectural tour of Connecticut last Saturday. Since there was so much to see I will be splitting out our day over several posts (even keep your eye out for a guest post) and what a better way to start then with our first stop Philip Johnson's Glass House.
Completed in 1949 this building, just shy of 1,800 sq.ft. was built as a weekend retreat for Johnson and his partner. With relatively uninterrupted views over the surrounding woodlands, this 'pavilion' as it's called, really is a little piece of heaven. Large glass panels make up the walls - even called by Johnson as "expensive wallpaper" - with steel structure that sit at each of the four corners. The palette is simple and uncomplicated really allowing one to feel as though you are part of the surrounding landscape. The glass walls are cleverly punctuated by a centrally located full-height door on each side, giving the house a great through draft and keeling the symmetry apparent.
The only solid structure of the house is a brick-clad cylinder that houses the bathroom on one side and the fireplace on the other. The interior of the bathroom is covered with green mosaic tiles that mimic the greenery outside, and then a completely decadent leather ceiling. LOVE! The house is furnished almost entirely by Mies van der Rohe furniture which came from Johnson's New York apartment.
On the property there are several other buildings acting as art galleries for Johnson's extensive collection and a guest house - known as the brick house as it's exterior walls brick, punctuated only by three relatively small round windows the back. Only an hour drive outside of Manhattan the house is in New Canaan and would be appreciated equally by those in the design field and those not.