Principal of dlandstudio llc
Philip Johnson referred to his collection of follies, pavilions and buildings at the Glass House not as architecture, but as “events on the landscape.” Each of these “events” are slowly revealed to visitors through Johnson’s carefully designed landscape, which creates a winding procession with moments of discovery and contemplation.
Philip Johnson created playful relationships between his follies and the landscape which progressively hide and reveal his designs as one approaches the Glass House. Alternately, once inside the Glass House, the landscape is completely exposed to the viewer.
When are landscapes more successful as immediately accessible and completely revealed? When are they more valuable with elements of hide and reveal, mystery and wonder?
Lori gave the final word
I had the great privilege of taking a design studio with Philip at Yale near the end of his life and career in 1999. He brought our studio to the Glass House and gave us a tour. At the time, he was fascinated with “playing” as an architect, though he never seemed to consider himself one….he was interested in the delight of forms and absolutely fascinated with Frank Gehry. He had just built Gehry’s red entry pavilion and was so proud of it. I remember walking from building to building with him, the landscape being this connective tissue that enabled repose and reflection as we moved from one place to another in both time and space. The land was the constant and each building marked a different moment in his architectural exploration and curation, each time giving birth to a new fascination and new expression. It is time that enabled the place to become what it is and to mark a life that was so rich and complex, secret and public, and in then end about the pure joy of living. Now, with his passing, the relationship reverts. The buildings will remain constant, but the landscape will grow and change and alter the way we experience the place.
Friday, February 18 at 9:52pm
Selected list of words appearing in this and other conversations.