The Glass House Blog

Constantin Boym Hosts Glass House Conversations

Constantin BoymThis Week’s Glass House Conversation is hosted by designer Constantin Boym, founder of Boym Partners Inc. and Director of MFA.DESIGN at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar. The work of Boym Partners Inc. is included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art , won a 2009 National Design Award in Product Design, and has received numerous awards from the now defunct icon of industrial design, I.D. Magazine. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Glass House Conversations, Modern Views, , , , ,

Special Offer – Modern Views Book $50

Modern Views book cover

Special Offer – Modern Views Book $50

The Modern Views book includes art contributed from architects artists and designers including Zaha Hadid,
Ed Ruscha, James Welling and Paula Scher celebrating the Glass House and Farnsworth House.

New price at the Philip Johnson Glass House Store:
$50 (originally $70), plus $10 shipping.
Click here to order your copy today!

Filed under: Modern Views, Tours + Programs, ,

Glass House News, Winter 2011

The Irwin House in New Canaan, CT designed by Victor Christ-Janer in 1953. From the Modern Home Survey.

The Irwin House in New Canaan, CT designed by Victor Christ-Janer in 1953. From the Modern Home Survey.

Connect: Join our mailing list to stay up to date on the latest Philip Johnson Glass House news and be the first to hear about new 2011 programs and tours!

2010 was a landmark year for the Glass House. We welcomed visitors from over 100 countries worldwide to our physical and virtual sites, launched new programs, and worked to preserve iconic modern architecture. The Glass House led the development of several groundbreaking initiatives including the new Modern Home Survey which advances preservation efforts in New Canaan and beyond; Modern Views--a book, exhibition, and film that brought together contemporary architects, artists, and designers in support of the Glass House and the Farnsworth House, both properties of the National Trust for Historic Preservation; Read the rest of this entry »

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Artist Highlight: Lynn Davis

Alice and James, The Glass House, photo: © Lynn Davis

By Claire Hunter

I received an email from Lynn Davis’ studio announcing her latest exhibition, Lynn Davis: Persistence of Form: Photographs 1978 – 2010, currently on view through October 30 at Knoedler & Company in NY.

Lynn is also a participant in the Modern Views project to benefit preservation efforts at the Farnsworth House and the Glass House. She donated a digital print, Maison de Verre, France, 2001,which was auctioned at an event held at the Arts Club in Chicago last week.

Additional works donated to the Modern Views project will be auctioned at an event to be held at Sotheby’s New York on October 6 (view Modern Views complete catalogue).

Lynn’s work is also featured as part of the Glass House permanent collection. Three toned gelatin silver prints hang in the entrance to the Painting Gallery on the Glass House site. Visits to the Painting Gallery are featured on all six Glass House tours.

Brick House, The Glass House, photo: © Lynn Davis

The Glass House store (located at the Visitor Center) also carries a set of notecards featuring black and white photos that Lynn Davis captured on-site. The cards come in a set of eight and include images of  Philip Johnson’s dogs, Alice and James; Philip Johnson’s Library/Study; Brick House; Pavilion;  Ghost House; Lincoln Kirstein Tower and the Glass House.

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Site Spotlight: Brick House (1949)

Philip Johnson's Brick House (image: Andy Romer)

The Glass House and the Brick House offer a lesson in contrasts. Designed at the same time, the Brick House was completed a few months before the Glass House. A grassy court links the two buildings conceived of as a single composition.

 Both houses are 56 feet long; however, the Brick House is only half as deep as the Glass House. The Brick House contains all the support systems necessary for the function of both buildings. As opposed to the transparency of the Glass House, brick almost completely encases the house.

The only windows, with the exception of the skylights, are large circular forms at the rear of the building. According to Philip Johnson, this series of round openings alludes to Filippo Brunelleschi’s fifteenth century Duomo in Florence (for a deep dive into the windows click here).

Glass House and Brick House (image: Andy Romer)

Johnson remodeled the interior of the Brick House in 1953. Originally there were three equally sized guest rooms, but now a narrow skylit corridor connects a bedroom and reading room. The low, sleek, white vaults that decorate the bedroom are based on the breakfast room of the Sir John Soane House in London completed in 1824, and are harbingers of elements later found in Johnson’s original design of the synagogue for the Congregation Kneses Tifereth Israel in Port Chester, New York and later at Lincoln Center.

The room is covered in a patterned silk fabric designed by Fortuny. Prints by Brice Marden line the corridor, and the reading room consists of Johnson’s library of philosophy, history, and art history books.

The Brick House is currently undergoing restoration and funds raised through the Modern Views project will support these preservation efforts.

Brick House: designed 1945 – 48, completed 1949. Interior remodeled 1953, brick and wood frame construction, 988 square feet


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Modern Views Participants Johnston Marklee Host This Week’s Glass House Conversation

Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee of Johnston Marklee Architects are the hosts and moderators of this week’s Glass House Conversations.

Johnston Marklee, based in Los Angeles, CA, are known for their award winning designs that incorporate innovative concepts, new building technologies and references to architectural history. Their projects include the Kaikai Kiki Merchandise Room for ©Murakami at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the Maison Martin Margiela boutique in Beverly Hills, and the Hill House in Pacific Palisades, CA, which is featured in the Philip Johnson Glass House Modern Views project and book.

The question they put forth references the Pritzker Architecture Prize, and asks what aspects and practitioners of architecture and design we should celebrate today. The question also refers to the legacy of Philip Johnson, the first architect to receive the award in 1979.

So far this week’s conversation has drawn participants from a number of different design disciplines, most notably architecture. Tuesday evolved into an exceptional evening filled with late night debate, celebrating and challenging the existing standards by which we evaluate design.

The conversation continues until 8pm EST on Friday August 20th. To catch up on the latest developments and join in, please visit

Sharon Johnston Founder and Principal of Johnston Marklee Architects

Sharon Johnston Founder and Principal of Johnston Marklee Architects

Mark Lee Founder and Principal of Johnston Marklee Architects

Mark Lee Founder and Principal of Johnston Marklee Architects

Filed under: Glass House Conversations, Modern Views, , ,

Modern Views: Gilles Saucier

Modern Views: A Project to Benefit the Farnsworth House and the Glass House invited some of our era’s top creative minds to continue one of the twentieth century’s great cultural dialogues; the historic exchange reflected in the Ludwig Mies van der Rohe Farnsworth House (1945 – 51) and the Philip Johnson Glass House (1949).

One hundred contemporary artists, architects, and designers created and donated works of art and written statements, capturing their thoughts and inspirations about these iconic buildings and the architects who created them.
Tune in weekly for a preview of these works and check back for breaking news surrounding the launch of the Modern Views online auction as well as the formal launch of the Modern Views book published by Assouline.


FOUND OBJECT/OBJET TROUVE, Helsinki, 2003 (Reprinted, 2010) Gilles Saucier| | Archival pigmented ink on hahnmuhle photo rag, 46-3/4" x 35" | Courtesy of Architect Gilles Saucier

Upon encountering this found object in Helsinki, Gilles Saucier could not help but take a moment to pause and reflect. Originally a concrete stair for a beach building, the artifact is a remnant of human intervention along this coastline. In the Modern Era of architecture, the most enduring and iconic projects, such as the Glass House and the Farnsworth House, engaged their sites in new, yet meaningful ways. Rather than being isolated, detached objects, these landmark projects have restructured the way we see and live in the landscape, thus markedly shaping our understanding of outdoor space.

 Gilles Saucier received his Bachelor in Architecture from the University of Laval in 1982.  In 1988, Saucier + Perrotte was formed.  Since then, the firm has gained international recognition for its institutional, cultural and residential projects.  As design partner along with André Perrotte, Saucier is responsible for the overall design of each project.  His commitment to design excellence is recognized by the architectural press worldwide. 

Since 1990, Saucier has been visiting professor and invited critic at several Canadian and American Universities as well as lecturing extensively and as an invited guest speaker at architectural organizations and universities. He was one of three Canadian architects invited to join the recent Governor General Team to promote Canadian Culture through a series of state visits to Finland and Iceland.


Saucier + Perrotte Architectes

Recipients of two 2010 Governor General’s Medals in Architecture

The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada award announcement

Architype Review interview with Gilles Saucier

Semi-Finalist, Musee National Des Beaux Arts du Quebec International Competition

Finalist, Architectural Design Competition at Fallingwater

Designing Thompson Residences in Toronto

LEED Accreditation

Filed under: Modern Views, , , , , , , , , , , , ,


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