Monument of Glass and Steel

Feb 27, 2014

 

The Glass House campus was built by renowned architect Philip Johnson in New Canaan, CT between 1949 and 1995. It sits atop a sprawling 47-acre landscape composed of 14 different structures including a guesthouse, an art gallery, and a sculpture pavilion. All these impressive buildings are nestled on the scenic grounds with idyllic green lawns and grand maple trees. It has been rightfully designated a National Trust Historic Site and it’s a true beacon of American architecture.

The Glass House itself (shown above) is a triumph of modernist minimalism. It consists mainly of a stark glass box supported by slender steel frames. There is no pretension nor sleight of hand trickery, just a flawless vision executed to perfection. But in this simplicity, new possibilities arise. It offers breathtaking views of the beautiful nature surrounding it, and the contrast offered by its thin brick base and upper glass construction is thoroughly pleasing to the eye.

Philip Johnson was a singular force in the world of architecture. He founded the Department of Architecture and Design at New York’s MOMA, and was awarded prestigious accolades like the Pritzker Architecture Prize and the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal. He is responsible for designing major landmark structures including the Seagram and Sony buildings in New York, the IDS Center in Minnesota and the Puerta de Europa Towers in Madrid. He lived a long and extremely productive life and passed away in 2005 at the age of 98.

The Glass House is presently a thriving center for the arts featuring a permanent collection of 20th century painting and sculpture, along with several temporary exhibitions. The tour season runs from May to November and for more information on current and upcoming programs, visit here.


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