The Glass House

Urban Glass House, New York, New York

The early impetus for the concept was a catalog of sculpture by John Chamberlain, which suggested an interesting collision of vertical forms. From that initial idea Philip Johnson Alan Ritchie Architects then examined the local structures at this western gateway to New York’s SoHo, a mix of 19th-century buildings and selected certain elements, such as brick and vernacular windows to use in the firm’s design. What resulted was a 21st century response to the problem of how to work new architecture into an older context.

After several stages of transition, what was to be Philip Johnson’s last residential commission developed into a 12-story glass condominium building whose glass walls encased 40 luxury apartments. Johnson, along with partner Alan Ritchie, allowed the name Urban Glass House to be used, implying a commitment to the same standards of excellence and rigorous attention to detail as Johnson’s world-famous New Canaan masterpiece.

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