Architecture, Ideas
Villa Kogelhof by Paul De Ruiter

20+ Glass Houses That Offer Both Privacy and Stunning Views

Glass houses are one of the most wonderful architectures that boast unique aesthetics and functionality. The glass house architecture dates back to 1940s-50s when Philip Johnson and Mies Van der Rohe created some cool glass structures that had transparent appeal. Although, facade and walls use glass as the main building material, internal partitions and floors bolstered by strong frames provide the required structural stability.

The transparent walls bring loads of natural light and beautiful views in, providing a deep connection with nature. Privacy may be one of the concerns with such architectures but the one-way vision glasses and curtains take good care of it.  

Glass houses are a good example of modern architecture that can be a small backyard cabin to a fully-furnished vacation home. The real beauty lies in the connection between interior, exterior and the surrounding landscape.

If you ever wished to live in harmony with nature, the modernist see-through homes are the best ways to enjoy comforts of indoors while being surrounded by the natural beauty of outdoors. Here is a list of modern glass houses from around the world that offer mesmerizing views of surrounding landscape from the comfort of bed.  

Philip Johnson’s Glass House

Designed by Philip Johnson in 1949, it is one of the most prominent pieces of modern architectures located in New Canaan, Connecticut. This one-story glass house features open floor plan and floor-to-ceiling glass walls between black steel piers and stock H-beams. There is a kitchen, dining room, living room, bedroom, hearth area, bathroom, and an open entrance area. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1997.

  • Project architect: Philip Johnson
  • Type: Residential
  • Status: Completed
  • Year of completion: 1949
  • Location: New Canaan, United States
  • Area: 1,815 square feet
  • Space: Kitchen, dining space, lounge, bedroom, bathroom
Philip Johnson’s Glass House

Image: Michael Biondo

Philip Johnson’s Glass House

Image: Michael Biondo

Philip Johnson’s Glass House

Image: Michael Biondo

The Lake Pavilion

This 1,240 square-feet waterfront lodge featuring floor-to-ceiling glass walls was built across a lake near Montreal in 2015. The kitchen and living area are positioned on one side, and two bedrooms are housed on the other. The complete white interiors nicely match the polished concrete floor, while triple glazed windows help in climate control.

There are large roof overhangs to provide shade and reduce the amount of rain hitting the exteriors walls. The glass pavilion is topped with a green roof, with edges covered in reflective aluminum panels. The roof is supported by thin, white-painted steel columns.

  • Project architect: Daoust Lestage
  • Type: Guest house
  • Status: Completed
  • Year of completion: 2015
  • Location: Montreal
  • Area: 115 square meter
  • Space: Kitchen, lounge, bedrooms, bathrooms
Lake Pavilion by Daoust Lestage

Image: Adrien Williams

Lake Pavilion by Daoust Lestage

Image: Adrien Williams

Lake Pavilion by Daoust Lestage

Image: Adrien Williams

The Division Knoll Residence

The curving copper roof over a transparent glass structure is what makes this house different from most glass houses. The glass facades reflect silhouettes of surrounding mountains, and maximize the viewing angle. The creative use of wood in exterior and interior space makes it even more appealing.    

  • Project architect: Sagan Piechota Architecture
  • Type: Vacation home
  • Status: Completed
  • Year of completion: N/A
  • Location: Big Sur, California
  • Area: 5,000 square foot
  • Space: Kitchen, dining room, lounge, bedroom, bathrooms, fireplace
The Division Knoll Residence by Sagan Piechota Architecture

Image: SP Architecture

The Division Knoll Residence by Sagan Piechota Architecture

Image: SP Architecture

The Division Knoll Residence by Sagan Piechota Architecture

Image: SP Architecture

Flexhouse by Evolution Design

This four story, 173-square-meter waterfront home features a distinctive white glass façade that is enough to draw anyone’s attention. There’s an open kitchen-dining-living space on the ground floor, two bedrooms and bathrooms on the first floor, a studio with two large terraces on the second floor, and a garage and utility space in the basement. There are glass walls on three sides to blend into the surrounding foliage. The focus of the design is to maximize outside views from all living spaces of the house.

  • Project architect: Evolution Design
  • Type: Residential
  • Status: Completed
  • Year of completion: 2016
  • Location: Switzerland
  • Area: 173 square meter
  • Space: Kitchen, dining, lounge, bedrooms, bathrooms, studio, underground garage
Flexhouse by Evolution Design

Image: Peter Wuermli

Flexhouse by Evolution Design

Image: Peter Wuermli

Flexhouse by Evolution Design

Image: Peter Wuermli

Finley Beach House

Built for a couple at the edge of Oregon’s coastal forest, this simple two-story, glass house serves as a weekend getaway to connect with the nature. The 3,330-square-foot vacation home is capped with a green roof to blend with the surrounding landscape. It took almost six years from the purchase to completion of the home. The choice for the palette of materials is limited to glass, metal, wood and other natural materials. The glass curtain-wall system is an important and painstaking task in the design.

  • Project architect: Bora Architects
  • Type: Vacation home
  • Status: Completed
  • Year of completion: 2015
  • Location: Arcadia Beach, Oregon
  • Area: 3,300 square foot
  • Space: Kitchen, lounge, bedrooms, bathrooms, deck, office
Finley Beach House

Image: Bora Architects

Finley Beach House

Image: Bora Architects

Also Read: These Ultramodern Mirror Cabins Blend into the Surrounding Landscape

The Glass House Toronto

Located in a wooded location in Oakville, Canada, it is a three-story, modern glass house that combines luxury with natural in a marvelous way. It offers a total of 8,271 square-feet living space, with floor-to-ceiling glass walls, offering beautiful views of the surrounding area. The main level is designed with entertainment in mind. There are five bedrooms and a wine cellar tucked in the basement.       

  • Project architect: Jonathan Furlong
  • Type: Vacation home
  • Status: Completed
  • Year of completion: 1949
  • Location: Oakville, Ontario
  • Area: 8,300 square foot
  • Space: Kitchen, lounge, bedrooms, bathrooms, deck, library, garage, terrace, parking  
The Glass House Toronto by Jonathan Furlong

Image: Sotheby’s Realty

The Glass House Toronto by Jonathan Furlong

Image: Sotheby’s Realty

The Glass House Toronto by Jonathan Furlong

Image: Sotheby’s Realty

Glass house in Rieteiland, Amsterdam 

Netherlands-based architecture firm Hans van Heeswijk Architects has designed this glass house with the aim to bring in loads of natural light and outdoor views. It is a simple, rectangular building that consists of three floors and a basement. The facade on the street side is closed by perforated elements, while other glass-paneled sections offer expansive views of surrounding areas.   

  • Project architect: Hans van Heeswijk
  • Type: Residential
  • Status: Completed
  • Year of completion: 2011
  • Client: Private
  • Location: Amsterdam
  • Area: 275 square meter
  • Space: Kitchen, lounge, bedrooms, bathrooms
Glass house in Rieteiland, Amsterdam

Image: Hans van Heeswijk

Glass house in Rieteiland, Amsterdam

Image: Hans van Heeswijk

Glass house in Rieteiland, Amsterdam

Image: Hans van Heeswijk

Tower House

The Tower House is built by New York-based architectural firm Gluck+ in a woody location as vacation retreat to enjoy magnificent views of the Catskill mountain range. There are three floors joined through a central staircase. It employs an innovative ventilation technique to take on the temperature of living spaces. The unique cantilevered design lowers impact on the ground and makes the glassy structure different from others.

  • Project architect: Gluck+
  • Type: Vacation home
  • Status: Completed
  • Year of completion: N/A
  • Client: Private
  • Location: New York
  • Area: 2,500 square foot
  • Space: Kitchen, lounge, bedrooms, bathrooms
Tower House by Gluck+

Image: Gluck+

Tower House by Gluck+

Image: Gluck+

Tower House by Gluck+

Image: Gluck+

Y1 by Werner Sobek

This single-family home in Massif Central region in France consists of two units: a ground floor and a glazed upper story that levels against the ground and provides uninterrupted views of the landscape. The living quarters, dining area and sleeping areas are housed on the transparent top floor of the house.  

  • Project architect: Werner Sobek
  • Type: Residential
  • Status: Completed
  • Year of completion: 2013
  • Client: Private
  • Location: France
  • Area: 750 square meter
  • Space: Kitchen, lounge, bedrooms, bathrooms
Y1 by Werner Sobek

Image: Zooey Braun

Y1 by Werner Sobek

Image: Zooey Braun

Y1 by Werner Sobek

Image: Zooey Braun

Glass House by Toshiko Mori

This cantilevered glass house is designed by Japanese architect and Harvard professor Toshiko Mori. There are four wings, each offering magnificent views in all directions. The floor-to-ceiling glass walls and bright white interior seamlessly blend with the surrounding environment. From the living room and bedroom to kitchen and dining area, all living spaces are bathed in natural light. There’s even a green roof to merge with natural settings of the location. 

  • Project architect: Toshiko Mori
  • Type: Residential
  • Status: Completed
  • Year of completion: 2007
  • Client: Private
  • Location: New York
  • Area: 3,382 square feet
  • Space: Kitchen, lounge, bedrooms, bathrooms
Glass House by Toshiko Mori

Image: Houlihan Lawrence

Glass House by Toshiko Mori

Image: Houlihan Lawrence

Glass House by Toshiko Mori

Image: Houlihan Lawrence

Photographer’s Studio over a Boathouse

Designed by Toronto-based design studio GH3, this lakefront house blends into the surrounding landscape with simple and sophisticated see-through glass façade. The complete white interiors complement the dark floor, adding a contemporary and stylish essence to the house. Also the use of glass, metal, and granite significantly improve its thermal efficiency.

  • Project architect: GH3
  • Type: Residential/studio
  • Status: Completed
  • Year of completion: 2007 
  • Location: Canada
  • Area: 167 square meter
  • Space: Kitchen, lounge, bedrooms, bathrooms
Photographer’s Studio over a Boathouse by GH3

Image: GH3

Photographer’s Studio over a Boathouse by GH3

Image: GH3

Photographer’s Studio over a Boathouse by GH3

Image: GH3

Donald and Helen Olsen House

It is a great example of the international style architecture in the 1950s. The transparent glass façade of the house built by Berkeley architect Donald Olsen helps it merge with outdoors. The raised upper floor helps its residents to stay connected to the nature.     

  • Project architect: Donald Olsen
  • Type: Residential
  • Status: Completed
  • Year of completion: 1954
  • Location: Berkeley
  • Area: 2,205 square foot
  • Space: Kitchen, lounge, bedrooms, bathrooms, studio/office, deck
Donald and Helen Olsen House

Image: Dwell

Donald and Helen Olsen House

Image: Dwell

Donald and Helen Olsen House

Image: Dwell

La Casa del Desierto

This fully glazed house is a collaborative project by Slovenia-based OFIS Architects, Guardian Glass engineers and energy consultants from AKT II and Transsolar. The triple glazed windows not only improve thermal and acoustic insulation but also make it a complete off-grid housing unit for two people. Located at The La Casa del Desierto (the desert house), it is designed to maintain a comfortable atmosphere even in extreme temperatures of deserts.

  • Project architect: OFIS Architects
  • Type: Temporary vacation retreat
  • Status: Completed
  • Year of completion: 2018
  • Location: Gorafe desert, Spain
  • Area: 20 square meter
  • Space: Lounge, bedroom, bathroom
La Casa del Desierto

Image: José Navarrete Jiménez

La Casa del Desierto

Image: José Navarrete Jiménez

La Casa del Desierto

Image: José Navarrete Jiménez

Gefter-Press House

Built as a tribute to Philip Johnson’s Glass House, the Gefter-Press House (The Binocular House) was designed by veteran architect and Professor Michael Bell. The design idea was same but with more focus on privacy concerns. This U-shaped house dissolves into the surrounding forest with transparent glass façades to serve as a secluded shelter. It has won multiple awards, and has found a place in Kenneth Frampton’s iconic book, “American Masterworks: Houses of the Twentieth and Twenty-first Centuries.”

  • Project architect: Michael Bell Architecture
  • Type: Residential
  • Status: Completed
  • Year of completion: 2007
  • Location: Hudson Valley, New York
  • Area: 2,400 square foot
  • Space: Kitchen, dining area, lounge, bedrooms, bathrooms
Gefter-Press House by Michael Bell

Image: Bilyana Dimitrova

Gefter-Press House by Michael Bell

Image: Bilyana Dimitrova

Gefter-Press House by Michael Bell

Image: Bilyana Dimitrova

Villa Kogelhof

This eco-friendly villa consists of an underground volume and a glass house floating above the ground. The villa generates its own energy and has a built-in cooling system. There’s also a water roof to illuminate the living areas underneath. As a worthy feather in its cap, Villa Kogelhof has won the Dutch ARC13 Architecture Prize.

  • Project architect: Paul De Ruiter
  • Type: Residential
  • Status: Completed
  • Year of completion: 2013
  • Location: Kamperland, Netherlands
  • Area: 715square meter
  • Space: Kitchen, lounge, bedrooms, bathrooms
Villa Kogelhof by Paul De Ruiter

Image: Jeroen Musch

Villa Kogelhof by Paul De Ruiter

Image: Jeroen Musch

Villa Kogelhof by Paul De Ruiter

Image: Jeroen Musch

Glass house by Jeff Smilow

Located on a 1.9-acre property surrounded by woods, this see-through, glass architecture was built by Juan A. Figueroa. Whether its the living room and kitchen on the first floor or bedroom suites on the second floor, the floor-to-ceiling glass windows bring natural light and outdoors in. There are smart features too like front gates, lighting, heating and air conditioning system that can be controlled remotely with an iPhone.

  • Project architect: Jeff Smilow
  • Type: Residential
  • Status: Completed
  • Year of completion: 2016
  • Location: East Hampton, NY 
  • Area: 5,000 square foot
  • Space: Kitchen, living area, dining room, bedrooms, bathrooms, pool with inlaid hot tub, four-car garage   
Glass house by Jeff Smilow

Image: Realtor

Glass house by Jeff Smilow

Image: Realtor

Glass house by Jeff Smilow

Image: Realtor

S House

Tokyo-based Yuusuke Karasawa Architects has designed this glazed, two-story house that reflects its surroundings. The house has zigzagging central staircases to connect the split levels. The complete white interior with large glass windows creates an ultimate luxurious environment inside.

  • Project architect: Yuusuke Karasawa
  • Type: Residential
  • Status: Completed
  • Year of completion: 2014
  • Location: Saitama Prefecture, Japan
  • Area: 1,117 square foot
  • Space: Kitchen, dining room, living area, bedrooms, bathrooms
S House by Yuusuke Karasawa

Image: Koichi Torimura

S House by Yuusuke Karasawa

Image: Koichi Torimura

S House by Yuusuke Karasawa

Image: Koichi Torimura

The Kay House

This two-story waterfront residence features large glass walls and an indoor lap pool. The smooth glass facade blurs the boundaries between interior space and outdoors without sacrificing great aesthetics. The light-filled living spaces frame great views around the Derwent River. It is a great example of adding glass extension to an existing housing structure.

  • Project architect: Maria Gigney Architects
  • Type: Residential
  • Status: Completed
  • Year of completion: 2002
  • Location: Battery Point, Tasmania
  • Area: 3,895 square foot
  • Space: Kitchen, dining room, lounge, bedrooms, bathrooms
The Kay House by Maria Gigney Architects

Image: Maria Gigney Architects

The Kay House by Maria Gigney Architects

Image: Maria Gigney Architects

The Kay House by Maria Gigney Architects

Image: Maria Gigney Architects

Glass/Wood House by Kengo Kuma

This floating glass structure supported by thin steel columns was created by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma as an addition to the existing mid-century modern home. The L-shaped floor plan and flat roof aim to blend the architecture with environment and create a strong contemporary look.

  • Project architect: Kengo Kuma Architects 
  • Type: Residential extension
  • Status: Completed
  • Year of completion: 2010
  • Location: New Canaan, Connecticut
  • Area: 830 square meter
  • Space: Kitchen, dining room, lounge, office, bedrooms, bathrooms
Glass-Wood House by Kengo Kuma

Image: Scott Francis

Glass-Wood House by Kengo Kuma

Image: Scott Francis

Glass-Wood House by Kengo Kuma

Image: Scott Francis 

Polyhedra House

Leading architecture and interior design firm Axis Mundi proposed this riverside cliff house to be built across the Hudson River in New Jersey. The main building materials are concrete, anodized aluminum panels, and seamed glass. It has living spaces including kitchen, dining and living room on the entrance level and bedrooms accessed by a floating stairway on the upper floors. 

  • Project architect: Axis Mundi
  • Status: Concept
  • Location: New Jersey
  • Area: 3,500 square foot
  • Space: Kitchen, lounge, bedrooms, bathrooms
Axis Mundi’s Polyhedra House

Image: Masaru Ogasawara

Axis Mundi’s Polyhedra House

Image: Masaru Ogasawara

Axis Mundi’s Polyhedra House

Image: Masaru Ogasawara

Tree in the House by Aibek Almassov

This conceptual tubular glass house was designed to be built around a living tree. There are a total of four floors, with the top level featuring a transparent ceiling. The glass walls make it a great viewing platform for the surrounding forest. A spiral staircase connects all the floors. It stands on tiny stilts to lower the impact on the landscape. Also, there are solar panels and rainwater harvesting features to improve sustainability. 

  • Project architect: Aibek Almassov
  • Type: Public space
  • Area: N/A
  • Status: Concept
  • Location: Kazakhstan
Tree in the House by Aibek Almassov

Image: A. Masow Architects

Tree in the House by Aibek Almassov

Image: A. Masow Architects

Tree in the House by Aibek Almassov

Image: A. Masow Architects

Glass House by Santambrogio Milano

This glass house is built from several sheets of glass assembled using the Plexiglas joint. From walls and ceiling to staircase and furniture items, all living spaces are outfitted with glass items. The entire glass structure reflects surrounding terrain while also offering panoramic surrounding views.    

  • Project architect: Santambrogio Milano
  • Type: Residential
  • Status: Concept
  • Location: Milan, Italy
  • Space: Kitchen, dining room, lounge, office, bedroom, bathroom
Glass House by Santambrogio Milano

Image: Santambrogio Milano

Glass House by Santambrogio Milano

Image: Santambrogio Milano

Glass House by Santambrogio Milano

Image: Santambrogio Milano

Share this Story

Facebook Comments

Check Also

Glass House Rentals for Happy Times and Good Sunshine

To mark the advent of British Summer that ...