Philip Johnson Glass House, New Canaan, Connecticut, USA
The pavilion style Glass House is set within a 49 acre estate in suburban New Canaan, Connecticut, and is an easy day trip from New York City. The Glass House, built by Philip Johnson in 1949, was an important and influential project for both the architect and for the modern architecture movement in the United States. It is an essay is minimalism and proportion, with plays on transparency and reflection. An early example of home design incorporating glass and steel, Johnson designed the house for himself and lived there with his partner David Whitney for 58 years. Whitney was an art critic and curator who helped design the landscaping and was responsible for much of the art collection in the on site galleries.
The Glass House is a magnificent site to visit and a must-see for anyone interested in visiting the architectural classics. The property is owned and operated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation who offer a few different styles of tours – we took the 2.5 hour extended tour which included a chance to see all of Johnson’s buildings on the site, including the sculpture gallery, the painting gallery and his personal library.
The Glass House is open from the beginning on May until the end of November every year. Tickets should be purchased in advance and the site is not recommended for children under 10 years of age. This is a very well organised site to visit, with the visitors’ centre conveniently at the train station in New Canaan with shuttle buses to take you out to the property.