Habitually Chic®'s Logo  

People in Glass Houses Should Not Throw Stones

by habituallychic

08 . 15 . 07

I have been dying to go to see Philip Johnson’s Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut since it opened again but it’s already sold out for 2007! So I was very excited to see to see that Grace Booney of Design Sponge had gone on a tour for House & Garden online. Now, I can live vicariously through her until I can hopefully visit next year!

There were so many photos, I had to stop myself from posting them all so please visit the H&G site for more. I think most people assume that The Glass House is just a glass house but in reality it encompasses so much more than just that one building. Originally, just the house and guesthouse sat on 5 acres, while it now includes 47 acres of land and 14 structures!

The interiors are filled with what are now considered classic Mies van der Rohe Barcelona furniture of simple lines so as not to compete with the views of the surrounding landscape.

Johnson also found ingenious ways to display his priceless art in a house with no walls!

The only “room” in The Glass House with walls is the bathroom in the center, which is funny to me because my firm actually builds a lot of bathrooms with showers that have glass walls to the outside.

The Brick House below was used as a guest house for those who apparently wanted a bit more privacy.

I love the interior decoration of the Brick House and the chairs that remind me of unzipped sleeping bags by designer Gaetano Pesce.

What appears from the outside to be a bomb shelter, is in fact the entrance to the Painting Gallery. Johnson was an avid collector of modern art and was the first Director of Architecture at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

“In his gallery, he installed large hanging panels that could be rotated to reveal new paintings behind them, allowing guests to view a few specific pieces at a time.”

Philip Johnson is almost unrecognizable in the Andy Warhol portrait below without his trademark glasses!

After seeing photos of The Glass House, I am even more excited to visit it in person! It’s so disappointing though that it’s sold out for the rest of the year. I was thinking maybe I should splurge for the $500 Patron Tour. Too bad my birthday’s not for another eight months! That would have been a very chic present!

Comments Closed

  1. J August 16, 2007 | 12:07 am

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. The Peak of Chic August 16, 2007 | 12:09 am

    This is at the top of my “must visit” list! Rather disappointing that it’s sold out through the end of the year, although it’s nice to know that a lot of people appreciate good architecture. Thanks for post!
    (Sorry about deleting the first comment. My i.d. got screwed up!)

  3. Habitually Chic August 16, 2007 | 1:21 pm

    Peak, I was also surprised and actually impressed that so many people are into architecture. I also think the proximity to NYC makes it a great destination for visiting tourists.

    We should get a group of bloggers together and take a group tour next year. That would be something fun to write about! 😉

  4. Alice Olive August 16, 2007 | 1:23 pm

    This is wonderful. I love the simplicity of this approach to not ‘interfere’ with the outside environment. It’s beautiful.

  5. Brilliant Asylum August 16, 2007 | 2:32 pm

    This is such an exciting post. This house made my heart race when I first learned about it in school. I am so glad that it is open to the public and must make a special trip to CT to see it someday.

  6. Cote de Texas August 17, 2007 | 2:12 am

    Habit: I love thinking about everyone getting together and touring this or just having coffee. Life’s too short, treat youself to the $500 tour. I would. You have to live out your passion. Johnson did a lot of work in Houston, a LOT. One time I was in Ft. Worth eating at this very small, very very small place and I look over at this gorgeous man with those black round glasses and say to those at my table, omg, omg omg, that’s Philip JOhnson! I was dying to go over and talk to him and just tell him how much I loved all his work, especially in Houston, blah blah and no one at my table even knew who he was! Horrors! That’s what blogging is about, we ALL know!


  7. patriciagrayinc.com August 17, 2007 | 3:15 pm

    I have had the opportunity to visit this home in person. However in Design School it was one of my rendering projects. I have a love/hate relationship with it because it is very difficult to render glass. I must dig through my archives and see if I still have that student rendering. Thanks for the post.

  8. Habitually Chic August 17, 2007 | 4:15 pm

    Joni, I would have fell over if I had seen Philip Johnson! How exciting! I can’t believe you of all people didn’t go up to him!

  9. Habitually Chic August 17, 2007 | 4:17 pm


    I’m so jealous you have been to the Glass House! You must share your rendering with us if you find it! I would love to see it!

  10. purple August 19, 2007 | 9:53 am

    Great house, I just love it. Your blog is really good,I’m so glad i found it.

  11. franki durbin August 21, 2007 | 12:53 pm

    We are fortunate to live near another iconic structure – the Mies van der Rohe Farnsworth house. while falling short of the acclaim of the Glass House, it is still a remarkable work of modernist architecture. And as a bonus – only $20 per person for the tour.

    We have a combo trip coming up – one day we’ll tour the estate, the next day we will view the Ghiberti Doors on exhibit at the Art Institute.

    to your point – I could not agree more that shared knowledge is the best part of blogging. It is easier to find like-minded people online than in our family or friends sometimes. We recently had a relative think Ghiberti’s Doors was the name of a band! 😉