The Glass House, New Canaan, Conn.
Architect: Philip Johnson
Astonished by the lyrical transparency of Mies van der Rohe’s 1946–51 glass-walled house for nephrologist Edith Farnsworth, the architect Philip Johnson (1906–2005) set to work creating his own transparent domicile.
The resulting one-story residence, completed in 1949 and dubbed the Glass House, is an idyll of streamlined clarity — a 56-by-32-foot country house encased by crystalline walls set amid 47 acres of lush woodland. Though the living room and bedroom are in full view from outside, the bath is a sanctum sanctorum, contained within a floor-to-ceiling redbrick cylinder that the architect said was inspired by a memory from the 1930s: the chimneys that remained in a European village after it had been burned to the ground by the German army.
Since 2007 the Glass House and many of the eccentric outbuildings Johnson added over the years have been open to the public.