Michael LaFetra Living Room

Glass Architecture

They say people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Well, the only thing people who live in these fine houses will be throwing is endless parties.

The houses below are real marvels of glass architecture from across the globe. True exemplars of how glass can bring a lot more to the design than just simple windows.

The Glass House

The Glass House by architect Philip Johnson is one of the oldest glass architecture houses, with building work commencing in 1949. It wasn’t officially finished until 1995. Johnson, who died in 2005, referred to the site of the Glass House as his ‘fifty-year diary’.

philip johnson glass house
The 49-acre site is now looked after by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and houses not just The Glass House, but thirteen other structures and a collection of 20th-century sculptures and paintings. Much of the art was donated by Philip Johnson himself.

Johnson helped shape the architecture of the 20th Century, and designed, the Crystal Cathedral and Sony Plaza, as well as working alongside Ludwig Mies van der Rohe on the Seagram Building and its renowned Four Seasons Restaurant.

philip johnson's glass house


Glass Architecture House Concept

The Glass House has inspired other architects around the world; the pictures below are actually highly realistic artist renderings and not a real house at all.

Snow Glass House
The design is by Milano Architect Carlo Santambrogio, and the house is part of a series of glass architecture house designs he has made to show how a modular glass design can be put together in any configuration to fit the site’s topography.

Snow Glass House Stairs
It allows the occupants to be completely immersed in their natural environment; surrounded by glass on all four sides.

Snow Glass House Dining
For privacy, the glass can be turned to matte at the touch of the button and internal rooms can have sliding curtains or blinds.

Snow Glass House Bedroom
This is the Snow House; designed with thicker glass to keep the heat in, but Santambrogio has also designed a Cliff House that sits over water to give the occupants the feeling of floating.

Snow Glass House View

Glass Architecture: Weekend House in Karuizawa

This house, on the other hand, is a real design by Japan-based architect TNA. It is situated in the woods an hour outside of Tokyo and was designed as a weekend retreat.

TNA glass house
The prefabricated facade is a Vierendeel structure; concealed by laminated cedar strips that are fixed to the internal timber columns.

TNA glass house Night

The rest of the external structure is all glass; to give the house the feeling of complete connection with the woods.

TNA Glass House Internal


Glass Water Villa Kortenhoef

In this Dutch design, the ground floor is kept very low to the water and the large glass frontage gives spectacular views across the lake.

Glass Watervilla
There is even another level underwater where the bathroom and bedrooms are located; giving privacy with natural light coming from internal shafts.

Glass Watervilla Kortenhoef


Rieteiland House

This is another Dutch creation by Amsterdam-based Hans van Heeswijk; built in Ljburg on the eastern edge of the city.

Rieteiland Glass House
The three-storey waterside dwelling has perforated aluminium panels on the front, and the back is entirely glazed; giving residents a panorama view and great sunset vistas.

Rieteiland House

The panels give residents some privacy and they can also be opened to let in light and allow people to enjoy the view across the water.

Rieteiland Glass House inside

Brentwood LA

This Californian House was designed by architect Ray Kappe and was originally built in the 1960s. It has recently been completely restored by Michael LaFetra.

Michael LaFetra 60s glass house
The house boasts a rooftop deck with stunning views, as well as five bedrooms and four bathrooms, and the glass walls are supported by the subtle wood architecture.

Michael LaFetra Glass  House deck

The beautiful external dark wood supporting the glass walls is contrasted with the warm sixties wooden detailing inside.

Michael LaFetra Glass and wood

The high-ceiling living room offers gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean, Long Beach and Catalina Island.

Michael LaFetra Living Room

…and of course, the obligatory infinity pool!

Michael LaFetra pool


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