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Those Who Live In Glass Houses

Do these homes appeal to you?

When the New York Times reported that a glass house in Staten Island, NY was bought for $8.95 million, I immediately visited the broker’s website that closed the deal. The house is something that’s definitely worthy of a second look. There’s something enigmatic in a structure devoid of privacy yet it remains an interesting find in a country where modernism has yet to be embraced by the public. The broker, Brown Harris Stevens, describes the houses as “superb residence was created by acclaimed developer and designer Stuart Parr and award-winning architect Michael Johnson. Noted for its extensive use of glass walls, the house takes full advantage of its stunning location, providing breathtaking views of Peconic Bay, the North Fork and Long Island Sound, all the way to Connecticut. Just a few of the many unique features of this important architectural triumph include custom cabinetry and woodwork hand-made from Rosewood reclaimed from the Bank of Brazil, floors and patios of Roman cut Travertine marble, Varenna kitchen cabinets, and a completely integrated sound system and exterior illumination. The house is sited on an elevated estate-sized property consisting of two parcels (3.33 acres and 2.66 acres) and there is also available an optional 100 foot boat dock with hydraulic lift.”

Now that’s exactly how modern architecture should be. Clean lines, minimalist appeal, solid interiors and simply classical. But something tells me I can’t afford to lose my privacy if ever I get to live in one. Imagine how I’d turn out to be: a complete neat freak. No part of the house must be left dirty or else, the neighbors might notice it quickly. I’d also be wondering what I’d do to keep stones from being hurled at my house when children pay for a visit.

On one hand, there’s nothing that can’t deny the fact that in glass houses, the talent of an esteemed architect shines through. Look at this home designed by Philip Johnson who was a major figure in American architecture until his death in 2005. Johnson’s house is described by Witold Rybczynski as “the classic head-on views of what appears to be a rather formal structure don’t capture the picturesque quality of its setting, irregular stone walls, and angled gravel paths.”

If I’d own this house, I guess I’d be putting on curtains.

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