Spectacular glass house by architect Thomas Roszak

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This spectacular glass house is owned and designed by architect Thomas Roszak in Northfield, Illinois that taps into the city’s modern architectural background. The architect’s house was designed as an exploration of how to foster interaction among family members, the architect and his wife and three kids, even while each person is engaged in different tasks in different rooms. To this end, the 8,200-square-foot house eliminates the redundancy of the typical suburban family room/living room combination, places the kitchen next to the children’s playroom, leaves the entire first floor unenclosed and uses glass paneled walls to further its sense of unencumbered interaction.

What sets this glass house apart from the buildings by Mies van der Rohe and his disciples is the use of color, apparent through the glass walls. Roszak has been able to create warmth and comfort in the modern design through balance, technology and landscaping. The residence experiments with transparency and reflectivity, removing borders and edges from outside to inside the house, and really depicts “flowing and endless space.” It likewise depicts transparency for society, making this an illustration of how people use their home now.

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The Glass House received architectural recognition with a 2008 Institute Honor Awards for Interior Architecture. The jury reported the following about the home, “The transparency from the outside in and the inside out is a strong design concept. Not only does transparency unite the functional space of the floor plan with the environment, it informs the canvas about the use of color—the yellow structure, red core walls, and cherry floors tie directly to the seasonal vegetation, bringing the landscape into play as design elements.”

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Roszak painted the beams and walls to depart from the grayness of the concrete and complement the green surrounding the house. The architect-developer ended up selling this house (he was asking about $4 million).

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Photos: : Jon Miller/Hedrich Blessing

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Name Withheld
11 years ago

From a distance, it looks exactly like an office building. From the inside, it looks like a warehouse-style retail store. I guess that’s fitting; the occupants can buy all their furnishings for it at Aikea. I bet this house wins the award for highest annual air conditioning bills: the “gift that keeps on giving” after the architect moves on to his project. I like the fact that the glass walls allow you to see a lot of trees. It definitely distracts from how brutally cold, unadorned, and functional the interior looks. Maybe the glass walls will become the demise of… Read more »

Michael Pope
5 years ago
Reply to  Name Withheld

Is there anything about this extraordinary design you like, Name Withheld? No, this ain’t Little House on the Prairie. But the space is spectacular, nonetheless! Going forward, focus on the good. If you don’t like something, simply stfu. (We can always hope, can’t we?)