The architect Philip Johnson's Glass House is one of the most important icons of modern architecture. For nearly five decades, Johnson and the art collector David Whitney lived in the 47-acre grounds in New Canaan, CT, sculpting the landscape and adding new buildings.
In 2007, two years after both men had died, the site opened up to the public as a National Trust Historic Site.
Skira Rizzoli has just published a new edition of "The Glass House" ($25), the definitive book about the estate. See below for images and stories from its remarkable grounds.
The main pavilion of The Glass House sits on a promontory overlooking a pond with views towards the woods beyond. Each of the exterior walls contains a centrally located glass door.
Much of the decor dates back to its completion in 1949.
The main house is essentially one room, fifty-four feet long and thirty-two feet wide, with a brick cylinder in the center containing a bathroom.
There is a story of a woman who came to visit, looked around, and remarked "It may be very beautiful, but I certainly couldn't live here."
"I haven't asked you to," Philip Johnson supposedly replied.
The main pavilion was the first of the buildings to be built on the estate. The others were added by Johnson over a period of fifty years.
This 30-foot tower was built in 1985 and named the Lincoln Kirstein Tower, after a close friend of Johnson's. The architect liked to climb the structure, which he described as "a staircase to nowhere." There is apparently an inscription at the top - but Johnson refused to reveal it to anyone who didn't climb the tower for themselves.
这个30英尺的塔形建筑建于1985年，以约翰逊的一位挚友林肯·科尔斯坦的名字命名。建筑师喜欢爬上这座塔，他称其为“虚无之梯”（译注：原文为a staircase to nowhere）。塔顶有一副题字——但约翰逊拒绝把它告诉给没有亲自爬上塔顶的人们。
The grounds contain various site-specific structures and artwork. It also houses an Painting Gallery, with works by Andy Warhol, Cindy Sherman and Julian Schnabel, and a Sculpture Gallery with a spectacular glass ceiling.
This small pavilion was constructed next to a man-made pond in 1962. Johnson liked to bring guests here for lunch parties. The small size of both the pond and the building make them look farther away than they really are.
The Ghost House is a folly, sitting on top of the foundations of a 19th-century stone barn. Johnson described it as containing "the spirit of a classical house."
The 43-acre site also contains a library/study, a pool, a caretaker's house, a house called Calluna Farms, and various modern art sculptures. The houses and the grounds are now a National Trust Historic Site.