Architectures: La Maison de Verre / Richard Copans & Stan Neumann / 2004
The house has been compared to a Surrealist artwork, a theater stage and an operating room. That effect is animated by the play of light. During the day the facade has a strange milky glow; at night floodlights illuminate the wall from the outdoors, so that it glows like a lantern, bathing the salon in amber light. A single-story dining room and a smaller salon are set just off this central space, so that you are always conscious of its dramatic scale.
But the house is above all an exquisite machine. Chareau worked closely with Louis Dalbet, a talented ironworker, and the house’s detailing has as much in common with centuries-old craft traditions as with the efficiency of the 20th-century assembly line. Big curved perforated metal screens at the bottom of the entry stair rotate to shut the apartment off from the office below. A rolling ladder set along the salon bookcase is fabricated from a single piece of steel pipe and inlayed with wood. The glistening brass window casements at the back of the house are assembled from the window panels of a passenger train. ➡︎
◼︎ The Best House in Paris / Nicolai Ouroussoff / The New York Times / 2007