The Maison de Verre, was built at the same time as the Villa Savoye, by the architect and decorator Pierre Chareau in Paris. It is perhaps the perfect urban house. Visiting this house also changed my life. There are insufficient words to describe how ingenious and how delightful this house is. It is a very modern house. I think of it as the first “high-tech” house, with it’s exposed steel and industrial materials. Yet it feel lush and luxurious.
It was designed as the home and office for a Paris doctor. The office and exam room are on the ground floor. The living quarters are on the floors above. It was designed to fit into a typical Parisian Hotel du Ville. The Doctor owned three floors of a four floor wing of the Hotel. The 4th floor was owned by an old woman who would not sell. Pierre Chareau was forced to design a structure that would hold up the 4th floor and allow the new house to be modern and filled with light.
The steel structure, required to hold up the masonry floor above, was exposed and exploited by Chareau as structure, as a system of defining spaces, and as decoration. The decorative potential of raw structure and materials in their most basic condition is made evident in this building.