The Evolution of Glass Houses

In 1949, when Phillip Johnson designed the world-famous glass house in New Canaan, Connecticut, it is doubtful he thought much about the adage, “People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.”

I doubt Mr. Johnson specified much in the way of thermal-pane glass, either. Nor had solar windows yet been invented. Using windows as part of a passive solar design may have been in practice, but it was not yet a common practice. Nonetheless, Johnson’s post WWII  creation is nothing short of spectacular, even if privacy only came from a wooded and very private landscape.

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    USA – CIRCA 2005: Postage stamp printed in USA shows the image of Philip Johnson Glass House (New Caanan, Connecticut). Modern American Architecture, circa 2005 – Source: Shutterstock


The Evolution of Glass Houses

One of the most important benefits to any predominantly glass house concerns the view. The tropical villa is a case in point.

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    Modern angular whitewashed luxury tropical villa with huge glass windows overlooking a paved patio with an outdoor living area and furniture – Source: Shutterstock

Some of the more innovative architectural deigns use glass as a striking accent, often near water.

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    Upmarket modern design house with a glass facade and illuminated swimming pool at night with plants on the paved surround lit by electric spotlights – Source: Shutterstock

The view to the great outdoors will always guarantee a winner. Take a look.

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    Luxury living room interior with white couch and seascape view – Source: Shutterstock

Glass structures in the garden are sometimes remarkable.

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    Glass house in a botanical garden, Lal Bagh Botanical Garden, Bangalore, Karnataka, India – Source: Shutterstock

Careful consideration is given to what is being seen.

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    Amazing modern dining area of hillside home with sliding glass doors leading to outdoors with balcony and breathtaking incredible view – Source: Shutterstock

Ultimately, when used properly, glass provides a remarkable visual and design asset to structures. When designing, though, always remember rooms that grew uncomfortably hot when the sunlight poured in, and rooms that seemed uncomfortably frigid.


Sources and photo credits linked to throughout the article.

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