Modernism In The Glass House

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INTRODUCTION

The idea of the American Modernist houses came from European architects (Spark 2008:186; Jordi 1963:177-187) that developed European theories of Modernism in the United States. Therefore architects like Philip Johnson, played a major role in introducing the works of Mies van der Rohe, Walter Gropius or Le Corbusier into the American society and architecture (Goldberger 2005). This Modernist built structures were characterized by the “open-planning and transparency and commitment to the spatial continuity between the outsides and the insides of the building” (Spark 2008:141). In addition, Modernist architects embraced the idea of the standardization of objects by means of mass production, that would produce exact replicas of items. (Spark 2008:147)

Philip Johnson (1906-2005) built The Glass House and its counterpart, the Guest House, in a piece of land of his property in New Cannan (Connecticut), as his own residence. It was finished in 1949. The house was the result of his final dissertation project for his architecture studies and it is considered as a high Modernist masterpiece (Melchionne 2998:191). Nevertheless, the house was only intended to be a primary residence but a weekend refuge to escape the New York stressed and overwhelming way of life. The Glass House was used as a place for the gathering of architects and other artists, in order to discuss Modernist architecture (Huppatz 2011). Johnson died in his bed in the Glass House in 2005, at age 98
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