Henry Urbach, Director of the Philip Johnson Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut, since 2012, has left the National Trust Historic site. Urbach came to the house from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. He departed that job in 2011, in part to pursue a research project on the Johnson house, which he classified as “as a laboratory for curatorial experimentation.” As Director, Urbach launched a series of art and architecture installations on the 49-acre property. Urbach, who once had a gallery in New York City that showed architecture as well as art installations and drawings, said he now intends to pursue “research and writing projects.”
Posts tagged with "The Glass House":
For those in the A/E/C practices, there is little doubt about the greatest gift of all: time. While AN can't source that elusive asset for you, we have assembled a collection of material goods that are designed to make life a little more elegant, efficient, and even fun. Happy holidays to all! Elements Collection J. Hill's Standard A fresh take on Irish cut crystal, this barware is marked by cuts and textures of varying depth, creating a graphic language. Designed by Scholten & Baijings. Ossidiana Alessi Fabricated out of cast aluminum, this old-school, new-style espresso makers comes in three sizes. Designed by Mario Trimarchi. Bauhaus Chess Set Chess House No prancing steeds or earnest foot soldiers here: Wood cubes, spheres, and cylinders comprose this 1923 chess set. Designed by Josef Hartwig. Glass House Snow Globe The Glass House You'll never have to battle the traffic on I-95 or shovel the snow at this finely crafted miniature masterwork. Flo Bedside/Desk Light Lumina Italia Rotate the head of this minimalist light fixture to focus the LED beam where it's wanted. In varnish-coated aluminum and steel, the fixture is also available in clamp, wall, floor, and grommet styles. Designed by Foster + Partners. FollowMe Lamp Marset Cordless and rechargable via USB, this oak-handled lamp shines a diffuse light through its polycarbonate shade. Designed by Inma Bermudez. Prismatic Scarves notNeutral From the product-design branch of Los Angeles-based architects Rios Clementi Hale Studios, these thirty-inch-square silk scarves are based on color studies for a competition project. Paul Strand: Master of Modern Photography Yale University Press Featuring more than 250 plates, this book by Philadelphia Museum of Art curators Peter Barberie and Amanda N. Bock chronicles the career of the seminal photographer. Louise Fili, Perfetto Pencils Princeton Architectural Press Graphic designer Louise Fili celebrates Italian typography with these two-tone pencils; related items include notecards and a book. Qlocktwo W Watch Biegert & Funk In this reactionary design to a digital world, a grid of 110 letters illuminates the time in text form. And it's multi-lingual: The watch communicates in English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, and Arabic. Brut Nature 2006 Louis Roederer Of his design for the packaging for this vintage, Philippe Starck says, "The contents are so potent I decided to design a bottle that was stripped of any superfluous embellishment." Shape of Sound Artifice Books Architect Victoria Meyers examines the dynamic relationship between architectural forms and materials and acoustics in this amply illustrated book. Snøhetta Limited Edition, XO Contemporary Cognac Braastad Adding Scandinavian cool to a classic French product, the graphic design team at Snøhetta uses subtle metallic colors and hand-lettering to reinvigorate the image of the stodgy spirit. Archaeologist Chopstick Rests Spin Ceramics Impeccably details and finished, these glazed clay pieces are both naturalistic and abstract in form. Eight pieces to a set; designed by Na An.
The village of Sagaponack, New York has confirmed to AN that Philip Johnson’s Farney House has been demolished. A Robert A.M. Stern–designed home is expected to rise in its place. Johnson completed the home in 1946, just three years before his world-famous Glass House in New Canaan. The now-disappeared Hamptons home is believed to have inspired that later work. The demolition does not come as a surprise. In early September, local publication 27East reported that the new owners of the $24 million house were expected to replace it with a Stern-designed structure—and there was little anyone could do about it. According to 27East, Sagaponack’s Architectural and Historic Review Board could not protect the property on legal grounds given the “extensive modifications” it had undergone over the years. Efforts to relocate the home were also unsuccessful. The Farney House, which was built for a couple of the same name, was originally a single-story, rectangular structure clad in cedar siding. According to the village of Sagaponack, the house was set upon a new foundation in 1975, and then underwent more extreme renovations in 1988: The house's main floor was expanded by more than 50 percent and the open space below the existing volume was filled-in to create two stories. The house's original windows windows and siding were also removed. At some unknown point in time, the home's deck was significantly enlarged as well. The village also noted that a swimming pool was added to the lot in 1981 and a tennis court in 1994. According to its sales listing, in its final state, the home comprised about 5,000-square-feet and sat upon 3.6 acres of waterfront property. [h/t Curbed]
Fujiko Nakaya: Veil Philip Johnson Glass House 199 Elm Street, New Canaan, CT Through November 30 For its 65th anniversary, Philip Johnson’s Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut, is hosting an exhibition by Fujiko Nakaya that utilizes the historic site itself. Veil shrouds the Glass House as well as the surrounding landscape with fog by running fresh water through high-pressure pumps. The fog will be heavily released then dissipated at set time intervals to obscure the visibility of the area and create a unique experience for visitors. Fujiko Nakaya is well known internationally for her consistent usage of fog in her installations. In 1970, Nakaya created the first-ever fog sculpture by enveloping the Pepsi Pavilion at Expo ’70 in Osaka, Japan, in mist. This exhibition is the first of Nakaya’s works to be displayed on the East Coast in the U.S.
Director Henry Urbach just announced a program that will reintroduce fresh flowers into Philip Johnson's iconic Glass House in New Canaan, CT, where they've been missing seen since Johnson and his partner, David Whitney, passed away in 2005. The arrangements will be created by local designer Dana Worlock, using Whitney's original plant selection and archival photographs of the home's interior as inspiration. Meanwhile, AN is participating in this week's Glass House Conversations about themes in this year's Venice Biennale, especially the relationship between critical compliance as espoused by David Chipperfield and Spontaneous Intervention and as featured in the U.S. Pavilion. Share your thoughts through September 2nd. The Glass House 199 Elm Street, New Canaan, CT 06840 Open Thursday-Monday, 9:30a.m-5:30 p.m. Tickets start at $30.
Sarah Morris: Points on a Line The Wexner Center 1871 North High Street Columbus, OH Through April 15 Points On A Line, a 2010 film by artist Sarah Morris, takes two iconic buildings as its central characters, Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House in Illinois and Philip Johnson’s Glass House in Connecticut (above). Commissioned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which owns both properties, the film is a meditation on the relationship between the buildings—Johnson, an acolyte of Mies and inspired by Farnsworth drawings, happened to complete his New Canaan house first—and the structures as they exist today. But it is the relationship of the architects themselves that becomes Morris’ narrative thread, serving as a springboard to explore their other architectural overlap: Johnson’s glamorized corporate interiors for the Four Seasons, the power-broker restaurant in the base of the Mies-designed Seagram building in Manhattan. Points on A Line underscores how our perception of a space is affected not just by its design but also its mythology.
The Architect's Newspaper has learned that curator and gallerist Henry Urbach will become the new executive director of the Philip Johnson Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut, a National Trust for Historic Preservation property. Urbach succeeds interim director Rena Zurofsky, who took the reins following the departure of executive director Christy MacLear in the fall of 2010. In April 2011, Urbach abruptly left his position as curator of architecture and design at SFMOMA after a five-year tenure, stating he had no definite plans for the future other than finishing a "book on installation architecture along with other pending projects.” He previously ran a namesake art and architecture gallery in New York. At the Glass House, Urbach will be responsible for overseeing the 47-acre site in New Canaan, where Johnson spent his weekends and the last years of his life. In addition to a constant swirl of events and cocktail parties, Johnson used the site for architectural experiments, and the property is dotted with small buildings in addition to the iconic glass-walled house, including an underground art gallery, whose contents Johnson acquired with longtime partner David Whitney. Following Johnson's death in 2005, the site became part of the National Trust, which opened the property to public tours in 2007. In addition to creating the public face of the site, MacLear developed an array of experimental programming during her directorship, such as Glass House Conversations, a series of dinner parties among an interdisciplinary group of cultural leaders that took place inside the Glass House, which in turn inspired the online conversation forum glasshouseconversations.org. AN looks forward to seeing how Urbach plans to keep Johnson's spirit alive in New Canaan and beyond.
The Center for Architecture seems to be on a lively arts kick of late. After presenting Architect, the chamber opera about Louis Kahn just a couple of weeks ago, last Friday the Center staged a reading of Glass House, a new play by Bob Morris and produced by the Center’s Cynthia Kracauer. The show employs a premise that sounds like the start of an ethnic joke: an Arab and his Jewish wife move next door to a WASP and his black wife in an exclusive Connecticut enclave… In the play, Anthony (Fajar Al-Kaisi), an Arab architect pretending to be of an undetermined ethnic origin, moves into his dream house from New York City with his uber-liberal Jewish wife, Abby (Rachel Feldman). Next door lives Tad (Joe Pallister), an establishment WASP, with his African American wife, Jane (Kim Howard), a Fox News aficionado whom Abby calls “the love child of Clarence Thomas and Condolezza Rice.” Anthony is obsessed with early to mid-twentieth century design and fulfills his dream by moving into a Philip Johnson-inspired glass house. Her husband's exacting anal-retentive design aesthetic slowly becomes the bane of Abby’s existence, as do conflicts presented by her new neighbors. What on first glance might threaten to be a production filled with insidery design jargon, turns out to be a rather commercial endeavor with an unmistakable Broadway-striving sheen. The play’s clipped pace and pithy one-liners are as polished and accessible as this season’s hit Other Desert Cities. In the manner that Desert Cities handles politics via a family drama, Glass House handles architecture via neighborhood conflict. As it turns out, Morris was inspired by the work of Desert Cities author Jon Robin Baitz, who once told him that “all theater has a lie at its core.” The play separates several scenes with direct quotations from architects that support the same notion in architecture, as in Frank Lloyd Wright's comment, "The American house is a lie." Here, the lie sits within a glass house. In a phone interview, the playwright described the work as a “boulevard comedy,” a term used to describe a brisk, topical piece. He pointed to Yasmina Reza’s 1995 play Art as one example. Here the topic in question is architecture and all the tics that its practitioners bring to their everyday lives. As Morris is married to a design-obsessive, the play speaks with a certain level of authority. “With mid-century modernism everything is so carefully considered that it becomes a conflict,” said Morris. He even wove a few personal anecdotes drawn directly from scenes at home, particularly an amusing segment where Anthony perfectly repacks Abby’s haphazardly arranged dishwasher. In real life, Morris’s partner told him, “It hurts my feelings when you don’t load the dishwasher properly.” But behind the couple’s “Modernist mailbox” and “Bauhaus bird-feeder,” rests a larger drama of secrets and lies between Abby and Anthony, which a nosy Jane strives to uncover. Anthony’s lie protects his business and social standing in a post-9/11 America. By exposing the lie the play dissects conservative mores of suburban New York while laying bare prejudices hidden within middle-class urban liberalism. While minorities Anthony and Jane guffaw at ethnic jokes, Tad and Abby react stone-faced. But later, Tad admits to enjoying the comfort of an unaltered tuna salad at the town’s clubhouse which excludes Abby and Anthony, and Abby admits to not wanting to pass by black teens on her way into a local shop. “Despite her good intentions her comfort zone doesn’t want to include a bunch of black kids hanging out in front of the deli,” said Morris. Morris, who owns a clean lined house in Bellport, Long Island, said that suburban “strongholds of historic charm” fight to maintain a way of life through appearances. “I think that’s where architecture fails,” he said. “It calms or titillates, but that’s not the form that these darkest emotional thoughts take.” For all the glory of Johnson’s glass house, the playwright reminds the audience that Johnson rarely spent the night there, preferring a windowless abode elsewhere on the compound. In a not so subtle manner, the author equates Johnson’s well documented Nazi sympathies of his early years to modernism itself: “When you have an extreme interest in how things should be to be beautiful, there’s an element of fascism to it, and that can transfer to a home when dishes need to be loaded properly.”
Prairie Hotel. After a 2-year, $18 million renovation, Frank Lloyd Wright's last standing hotel has reopened in Mason City, Iowa. The Historic Park Inn Hotel is a premier example of the Wright's Prairie style, and features deep hanging eaves and a terra-cotta façade. A massive art-glass skylight drenches the lobby in multi-colored light. More at ArtInfo. Library of Glass. Although Philip Johnson's Glass House library is transparent, Birch Books Conservation will soon offer the public a view the architect’s library without a trip to New Canaan. The non-profit publisher hopes “to preserve the professional libraries of artists, architects, authors, and important public figures through publishing photographic and written research,” with an inside look at Johnson’s personal collection, reported Unbeige. Mapping Poverty and Rebellion. The Guardian opened up the recent London riots for debate. Journalist Matt Stiles mapped the newspaper’s accumulated data of riot hot spots on a plan of London’s neighborhoods. Deep red stands for the British capital’s poorest regions, while blue represents the wealthiest communities. Metro In-The-Middle. The long-awaited Culver City Expo Line station was delayed by a disagreement between Culver City and construction authorities. Now, the two parties have agreed to the $7 million budget increase, which will fund a pedestrian plaza, bike lanes, parking facilities and pavement improvements. More at Curbed LA.
Philip Johnson's Glass House in New Canaan, CT clocks in at under 2,000 square feet--tiny compared to the McMansions being built just a stone's throw away. The transparent house is widely known as one of the earliest and most influential modernist homes in the United States, but its size is also a lesson in sustainable living. Hilary Lewis, the Philip Johnson Scholar at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, recently hosted a conversation discussing how architects and designers can reshape public perception and build homes that are luxurious but small, like the Glass House. Lewis, who worked with Johnson for over twelve years and recorded his memoirs, noted that the house utilized interesting materials in unexpected places, from the brick floor and fireplace to the leather ceiling in the bathroom. The house also took full advantage of the surrounding 50 acres, said Lewis, who explained: "Johnson and David Whitney worked assiduously, removing trees and planting. It was a constant effort to carve a more interesting landscape. Johnson used to refer to this building as a permanent camping trip -- one with very expensive wallpaper." The talk was the first of a new weekly series called "Conversations in Context," in which special guests lead visitors on an intimate tour of the property. The program was inspired by the Glass House's legacy as a salon where Johnson and his partner David Whitney hosted conversations with the movers and shakers in art, architecture, and design. This week Lewis is also hosting an online conversation about how architects and designers can downsize the idea of luxurious living; go to the Glass House Conversations website to contribute your two cents!
Up, Up & Away. My Modern Met has a photo set from National Geographic's recreation of the Pixar movie Up. With the help of 300 colorful weather balloons, a team of engineers and pilots sent a 16' square house skyward in LA, setting a world record in the process. (Via Curbed.) Archi-Ethics. Mark Lamster is leading this week's Glass House Conversation. He's discussing the ethics of client selection: "How do we balance commercial imperatives with a desire for a moral practice?" Mansard Mania. The New York Times has a feature on Manhattan's Mansard roof heyday between 1868 and 1873, spotlighting some of the best examples of the French-style roof. Transit Saves. As civil unrest continues in the Middle East, oil prices have risen to near record levels. Reuters brings us a study from the American Public Transportation Association that finds transit riders are saving over $800 a month with the elevated gas costs, and projects nearly a $10,000 savings annually if gas maintains its high price tag.
Relating. Mayor Bloomberg announced today that the Related Companies has been selected to lead the first phase of Hunters Point South on the Queens waterfront. City Room has more on the project which will initially include two new buildings with 900 apartments. Glass Tickets. The Philip Johnson Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut will begin selling tickets for 2011 tours on February 15. A variety of tours running from May through November explore the art, architecture, and landscapes at the house. You may also want to check out their weekly curated Glass House Conversations. Comic Architecture. BldgBlog is running an interview with comic artist Mike Mignola, discussing the intriguing buildings, landscapes, and spaces that fill his graphic novels and create distinct moods for his stories. Rogue Signs. Cranston, RI realized last year that 587 "undocumented stop signs" had been installed on its streets by a mysterious, unknown party. Lowering the Bar says the town has finally come up with a solution: legalize them.