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Name   THE WILEY HOUSE
     
Architects   PHILIP JOHNSON
     
Date   1952
     
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Description  

Made in 1952, it is one of the American architect's residential masterpieces in New Canaan, not far from New York. A composition of various buildings, including an art gallery.

«Creating beautiful things, that's all», was the final project declared by Philip Johnson (1906 - 2005), a simple feat only apparently. In what was his own fiefdom, the small town of New Canaan an hour by train from New York where he built his Glass House (1949), the American architect built five other houses. The numerous assignments, which followed one after the other primarily due to the undeniable talent but also thanks to the innate PR skills of a man of the world, were the consequence of the three "W" that defined Johnson: witty, wealthy and well connected (fun, rich and well introduced).

In 1952, the residence for property developer Robert C. Wiley was completed.

It is a composition of buildings, which includes the main house, the pool house, the art gallery and the garage, whose development, planned from the outset, has been harmoniously implemented by the different owners who have followed each other. Many formal characteristics unite it to the Glass House, from which it derives, and appears as a transparent volume that houses the living area, resting on a stone podium, in which the bedrooms are placed. "A glass cage", evocative of an aviary, Johnson defined it by simplifying in the description the mastery of balance between the full and empty of volumes and materials. A substantial portion of the built surface is basement, practically following the natural morphology of the soil from which it seems to emerge with the least possible impact.

The Wiley House is currently on the market (the price exceeds 7 million euros) looking for a new owner. With great philosophical and stylistic coherence, the two houses designed by Johnson are furnished with pieces designed by Mies van der Rohe: during the career the two architects have influenced and helped each other, in a mutual stylistic and contact exchange. In the case of the Glass House, the furniture came from Johnson's New York apartment designed in 1930 by Mies, including the famous and beautiful day bed, which is part of the Barcelona collection but was actually designed specifically for his friend.


     
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