Glass House


Taking inspiration from Philip Johnson’s 1949 Glass House, the brief for this open competition was to redesign a glass house for the 21st century.

How to design a new glass house for today ?

The Philip Johnson Glass House Plunges the inhabitant into a superb site, creating a symbiosis between architecture and nature. However the ever-growing population of the planet and the ever-increasing density of contemporary cities implies surroundings ominously stripped of nature. How does one treat an environment that is void of any outstanding quality ? This project inverts the concept oh Johnson’s Glass House : the roof and floors are glazed instead of the walls.

This permits a multitude of glass houses to be assembled together. Each dwelling encloses its own piece of nature and opens towards the sky. The technological progress of the last half-century invites a more varied use of glass. This new fabric creates a shadowless city that fits into the metropolis of today as the Glass House of Johnson integrated into the countryside of New Canaan.

Design team: Thierry Lacoste, Antoinette Robain
Date: 1993
Photography / images: Lacoste+Robain Architects