1. Philip Johnson referred to The Glass House property as his “50-year diary.”
He began building in 1949. Today we see 14 different pieces strategically placed across the property.
2. It was a weekend home.
Johnson and his partner David Whitney spent their weekends living in and working on The Glass House. Whitney, a celebrated art critic himself, is responsible for many of the collected works on display around the property.
3. Johnson’s favorite medium was New England’s abundant and diverse landscapes and flora.
He often referred to New England as “a jungle.”
4. Trees were pruned to exaggerate their height.
Johnson, along with Whitney and their landscapers, trimmed branches to open up space for the eye to see through.
5. Natural light and shadows add creative dimension to otherwise flat spaces.
6. Johnson had a set floor plan for the furniture within the house.
The fixed placements were set to contrast with the ever-changing natural surroundings.
7. The Pavilion’s size really messes with your brain.
Johnson loved to play with perspective and size across his property. The pond’s Pavilion, for example, is only six feet tall (and looks even smaller in this image). He chose to use this 3/4 scale to “make small men feel powerful and tall men feel playful.” The statue in the back left corner is 35 feet tall.
8. Johnson’s original landscaper continues to work on the property today.
Meticulous standards remain in place to keep the grounds looking the same as they did while Johnson resided there (including keeping the grass exactly three inches tall).
9. The Glass House’s bedroom faces north.
It’s separated from the rest of the house by a set of built-in walnut storage cabinets. This open loft layout was very unusual in the ’50s.
10. Johnson also built The Brick House for his guests.
A unique juxtaposition of materials that sits across an open courtyard.
11. The Greek Islands inspired Johnson’s Sculpture Gallery design.
The building now houses works by John Chamberlain, Robert Morris, Frank Stella, and more.
12. Johnson’s final structure, Da Monsta, is a building without right angles.
The space is used to showcase modern artists who draw inspiration from Johnson’s work. Currently on display in (and around) Da Monsta is E.V. Day’s exhibit, SNAP.
All photos by Joseph Lin / BuzzFeed