Philip Johnson has always been on the forefront of stylistic change, and his property in New Canaan, Connecticut, is a kind of laboratory where Johnson is his own best client. It was there that he built the famous “Glass House” he still resides in. This building has no walls (the landscape became “expensive wallpaper”); an accompanying guest house, by contrast, has no windows, though it is light and sensuous inside. We visit these, as well as the gallery which houses Johnson’s extensive collection of contemporary art on its revolving walls.
“My latest folly”, says Johnson, “is to build buildings without straight lines…It’s the first time I’ve had a building I can’t draw and have to design partially as it goes up.” This new structure is at the core of the video, and we get to see the sculptural building from its initial stages to completion. The video depicts Johnson at work and the importance of the architectural act, the actual construction, and how the buildings interact with their environment, in this case the autumn leaves or snow of New Canaan.