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Philip Johnson's Iconic Glass House Becomes A Fog Sculpture With "Veil" Installation

Though it may sound like the ideal setting for a horror film, the 65-year-old, fog-covered Glass House is stunning.
April 24, 2014, 3:40pm

A half-century-old glass house overlooking a valley and shrouded in fog may sound like the ideal setting for a horror film, but Fujiko Nakaya's site-specific adaptation to architectural majesty, Glass House, titled Fujiko Nakaya: Veil, is ebullient rather than ominous.

The house, created by architect Philip Johnson in 1949 and now a National Trust Historic Site, is a design wonder in New Canaan, Connecticut, that houses a collection of 20th-century paintings and sculptures. To celebrate the structure's 65th anniversary, "fog sculptor" and environmental-focused artist Nukaya is wrapping Glass House in mist. Every hour, 600 nozzles turn fresh water into a blanket of fog to make the house appear to vanish, as if the building and its permanent art collection get uprooted from their fixedness.


According to Nakaya, “Fog responds constantly to its own surroundings, revealing and concealing the features of the environment. Fog makes visible things become invisible and invisible things—like wind—become visible.” Glass House Direct, Henry Urbach, adds that the installation promotes "the dream of transparency, an architectuer that vanishes—to return again and again as the fog rises and falls."

The subtle-yet-poignant project makes the house's quiet beauty stand out, as viewers get reminded once an hour that there's a stunning building that forever keeps watch over the Connecticut valley below where it rests. The installation is part of a larger initiative to turn Glass House's campus into a center for contemporary art—specifically "those that foster new interpretations of the historic site's meanings." See some images of the house on the not-haunted hill below.

Photos by Richard Barnes (2014) courtesy The Glass House.

For more information on Glass House and the "Veil" installation see the historic building's website.


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