Architecture buffs may want to pull out the pocket books for this one. A rare “livable version” of Philip Johnson’s Glass House just hit the market for $7.7 million and includes the 1953-built Alice Ball House, plus a modern design complement by renowned architect, Reja Bakh. The iconic beauty sits on 2.2-heavily-wooded-acres in New Canaan, Connecticut, offering a combined 11,000 square feet of elegant indoor-outdoor entertaining.
Currently listed by Toni-Ann Vittoria and Inger Stringfellow of William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty, the property’s $7.7 million price tag includes both the livable version of Johnson’s Glass House, as well as the construction of a new companion structure inspired by the Barcelona Pavilion.
The property description says, “The horizontal lines and planes of the new residence are inspired by Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion, a seminal building that has inspired many modern architects. Philip Johnson designed the Ball House as a modest one-story house with a site plan that gives the house the feeling of a romantic garden villa or a little pavilion in the woods. The new residential structure and the historic house will harmonize as one composition with minimal structure, transparent walls, a floating wall, and long vistas that help blur the borders between inside and outside.”
However, Curbed.com reports that the property comes with a bit of complicated history. “Before Bakh bought the home for $2.3 million in 2015, it had, at various points, been threatened by demolition to make room for a larger, more market-friendly home. Of course, in a town known for its midcentury modern gems, preservationists were always waiting in the wings,” they reveal. So what is with the hefty new price tag?
Buyers are really getting two for the price of one here, combining the provenance of a historic gem, with the modern complement and contemporary vision of internationally renowned Bakh Design.
It’s important to note that for Bakh, the original purchase of Johnson’s livable Glass House was never a calculated real estate maneuver. It was more about collecting a piece of work by a master, as many architects so often do.
In fact, Bakh has gone on record saying the most important image of the new structure is the open living area rendering, where all you see is the Johnson building. The newer structure, dubbed the “Wall House,” will afford generous living spaces and a large sky-lit underground garage with room for a car collection or sizable studio.
The entire property comes privately secluded by native grasses, wild flowers, stone walls, tumble gravel, and pervious pavers that will enhance the courtyard between the two structures. There’s also an opportunity to customize the interiors to your personal tastes and configurations. A rarity indeed.
We’ll keep an eye out for all happenings on this livable Glass House beauty in the months to come. In the meantime, let us know what you think in the comments. Is this something you’d invest in? Do you agree with the addition? We want to hear your thoughts.