The Glass House is best understood as a pavilion for viewing the surrounding landscape. Invisible from the road, the house sits on a promontory overlooking a pond with views towards the woods beyond. The house is 55 feet long and 33 feet wide, with 1,815 square feet. Each of the four exterior walls is punctuated by a centrally located glass door that opens onto the landscape. The house, which ushered the International Style into residential American architecture, is iconic because of its innovative use of materials and its seamless integration into the landscape. Philip Johnson, who lived in the Glass House from 1949 until his death in 2005, conceived of it as half a composition, completed by the Brick House. Both buildings were designed in 1945-48.
Philippe Johnson said in 1991: “In the case of the Glass House, the stylistic approach is perfectly clear. Mies van der Rohe and I had discussed how you could build a glass house and each of us built one. Mies' was, of course, primary and mine was an adoption from the master, although it’s quite a different approach. In my case, there were a lot of historical influences at work. The Glass House stylistically is a mixture of Mies van der Rohe, Malevich, the Parthenon, the English garden, the whole Romantic Movement, the asymmetry of the 19th century. In other words, all these things are mixed up in it but basically it is the last of the modern, in the sense of the historic way we treat modern architecture today, the simple cube."
*Photo (by Robin Hill) and text excerpt: The Glass House website - READ MORE
Open for tours from May 1st to November 30th -Thursday through Monday ( closed Tuesday and Wednesday)
Monday – Saturday: 9:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Sunday: 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Tickets are required for admission. Advance reservations are highly recommended as tours often sell out. Please check ticket availability prior to your visit.
For tickets by phone, please call 866.811.4111.
HOW TO GET THERE
BY TRAIN: Transportation by train is easily accessible from New York City and the eastern seaboard along the Metro North New Haven line. The Visitor Center is located across the street from the New Canaan train station.
Please note that you may need to transfer trains in Stamford, CT to the New Canaan extension line during off-peak hours.
BY CAR: Use this address for GPS navigation system- 199 Elm Street, New Canaan, CT, 06840