This landmark book—the first ever devoted to Philip Johnson’s Glass House and his other innovative residential architecture—freshly illuminates Johnson’s remarkable career.
Philip Johnson’s Glass House (1949) in New Canaan, Connecticut is one of the great works of twentieth-century architecture. Ironically, its fame has obscured Johnson’s many other notable residential projects, which are surveyed here for the first time. This elegant book, organized around a dozen or so of the architect’s key houses, gives special attention to the Glass House and to its impact on other residential designs, by Johnson and by others.
David Mohney and Stover Jenkins cover the full range of Johnson’s domestic architecture, with emphasis on his exploration of several recurring elements, including the inventive use of courtyards, the distinctions between private and public space, and the close attention he has always paid to how his buildings are sited within the landscape. In addition to analyzing these key works, the authors have discovered a number of fascinating, little-known Johnson house designs, many of which were either never built or so altered over the years that they can be understood only through the drawings and plans presented here.
The informative text is complemented by Steven Brooke’s unusually handsome photographs, which capture how Johnson used light, space, and landscape to create some of modernism’s most appealing houses. As an afterword, the book includes a penetrating essay by architectural historian Neil Levine, who argues that we must now recognize Johnson’s publication of the article “Glass House” in 1950 as a turning point in the recognition of modernism as a historical movement.