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Object of desire: Glass House sculpture

Philip Johnson's modernist masterpiece, now in miniature form.

Here’s a little piece of architectural geekery: a replica of prominent architect Philip Johnson’s Glass House.

3D-printed, then finished with plaster and metal etchings, the model is a 1:11900 scale sculpture of the Glass House building that’s located in New Canaan, Connecticut, U.S.

Built in the late 1940s, the Glass House was conceived for personal use by Johnson, who used it as a weekend retreat for 58 years, right up until his passing. 

The original Glass House. Photo by Michael Biondo

The original Glass House. Photo by Michael Biondo

Designed in the spirit of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House in Illinois, Johnson’s see-through building is considered a prime example of Modernist architecture – and a study in geometry, and reflections. Johnson once described the glass as his “wallpaper” – as the glass not only reveals the surrounding nature, but partially reflects, creating an ever-changing view as guests walk along the walls of the house. 

Because he lived in the house, in full view of the public (except when in the bathroom, which is the opaque cylinder in the centre), the house garnered no small amount of attention, both from the media and architectural circles. 

In some ways, the house – originally built for residential purposes – became a piece of art, even though it was considered private property. So we guess there’s some kind of poetic ironic in owning a piece art modelled after the building. 

The replica measures 24cm x 34cm on its base, and is 24cm, weighing roughly 7kg. That’s small enough to sit on a desk, but also large enough to work as a centerpiece for any office. 

Details include the house’s iconic cylindrical structure, a bed, and the kitchen counter. The entire thing is housed in its own, see-through acrylic display case (very meta!), and serves as a perfect minimalist muse – or for when you wish to contemplate a discourse on voyeurism and privacy. 

Available from Chisel & Mouse