We had been thinking about The Views before we even had land to put it on. Indeed the vision we had drove the land search. We’d seen some interesting ideas and two of them really inspired us.
The first is the most famous, the Philip Johnson Glass House . This is more a piece of Phillip Johnson art than it is a house. It is one of the most amazing things we’d ever seen! This is what we wanted, but in a much more dramatic location, a location that would demand this seamless integration of views. I like the start of the description on the web site - “The Glass House is best understood as a pavilion for viewing the surrounding landscape. “
We still haven’t visited it, and, of course, the website doesn’t answer the most interesting question to us engineering types - how does the HVAC work? There are no visible ducts or anything and it’s built in New Canaan, Connecticut, so it has to be heated… Very puzzling.
The second was The Stahl House, now owned and fully restored by Design Within Reach as one of their most dramatic show rooms. The site it’s placed on is what we could only dream of finding, but the site pretty much demanded this house! Los Angeles magazine did a really good article on The Stahl House, originally known as Case Study House #22.
Here’s an overall view of The Glass House. Phillip glass did live here from 1949 to 2005, so it’s not just a work of art. Even so, it still doesn’t seem completely practical.
The Stahl House from Design Within Reach, the current owner.