"You're always surrounded by this beautiful wallpaper," says Philip Johnson, dean of 20th-century American architecture, explaining the design of his residence from a seat at the kitchen table. "It's rather expensive wallpaper. But it's very pretty, especially at this time of year." The wallpaper he's referring to is actually a gorgeous green landscape, because his remarkable dwelling—the "Glass House" in New Canaan, Conn., built in 1949—is entirely see-through, with walls of floor-to-ceiling glass that redefine "inside" and "outside."
Johnson rose to prominence in 1930, when he founded the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In his century-spanning career, he designed a panoply of eye-catching structures. Most aren't household names to non-architecture buffs, but if, for example, you've ever strolled the eastern precincts of midtown Manhattan, you can't help but remember the Lipstick Building—so-called because it looks like a giant tube of lipstick. In a cool way.
The film, in which Johnson gives a personal tour of his exquisite home and reflects on his career, is part of Nowell's Architecture Movie Series presented by Triangle Modernist Houses. —Marc Maximov