I confess. I fall in love with buildings. Interiors, exteriors, furnishings, textiles. Generally there’s a room, a grouping of windows, huge wood something, limestone, rock, the ultimate orangerie, or a staircase I just can’t get enough of. But for the whole magilla, well that is one: The House of Glass in Paris (La Maison de Verre) built in the 1920’s. Dr Jean Delsace and his wife Annie labored over it with modernist architect Pierre Chareau and ironwork master Louis Dalbet. (Chareau’s brilliant work cut short escaping Nazis in WW II but never, safe in America, able to rebuild his career, died in poverty). It has stayed a kind of closed-off and empty mystery, an object of fascination, for decades. Just purchased by an interesting American entrepreneur named Rubin it is being tenderly coaxed back to life without, he says, removing the essential patina of an old, revered structure.
There isn’t anything I don’t love about it, including and maybe especially the heart-stopping furniture. All of the multi-storied house is symphonic, filled with delightful pull-me push-yous that slide and reveal and open and change light and atmosphere. It was even built around an existing apartment a brave, willful French woman refused to vacate, the law on her side. Thomas Jefferson who did so many inventive lovely things with his home in Virginia would have loved it. I recommend getting to know The Glass House (link to article) for its promise to expand our thinking.
And only recently, the displaying of Gerard Depardieu’s 2 century old, beautifully confabulated Parisian estate, now on the market for 65 mil. There is even, not commented on, what appears to be a dividing glass wall copying Marcel Duchamp’s magnificent “Nude Descending a Staircase”. Depardieu called on multiple craftsmen and artisans and the place looks it. It’s just plain stunning.
I surprise myself at loving the broad open expanses of both because clutter has always been my pal. I like effusive abundance, a zillion points of stimulating things, delish to visual and tactile experience. But here they both are, and thrill me to the core.
Have a look, see what it does for you.