Maison de Verre

About the project

Maison de Verre (House of Glass), a live/work house built bewteen 1928 to 1932 in Paris for Dr. Jean Dalsace, is a masterpiece of 20th-century modernist architecture. The design was a collaboration bewteen Pierre Chareau (lead architect and interior designer), Bernard Bijvoet (architect) and Louis Dalbet (metal craftsman). Much of the intricate moving scenery of the house was designed on site as the project developed. The beautiful interior of house is unique for the wonderful uses of various industrial materials and custom mechanical fixtures juxtaposed with traditional home furnishings all illuminated by the dramatic light glowing through the translucent glass-block façade.

Maison de Verre itself has been described as an elaborate piece of mechanical furniture. It was commissioned in the late 1920s by Dr. Jean Dalsace and his wife, Annie, who had bought the site, an existing 18th-century hôtel particulier, but were unable to evict the woman who lived on the top floor. As a result Chareau was obliged to carve out his creation underneath her apartment. Viewed from just inside the courtyard the house looks like a glowing translucent box.

The house was purchased by Robert Rubin, an American design collector and restorer, in 2006 who had since faithfully restored the house and uses it as his family residence. He allows a limited number of tours to the house. So remember to book your visit well in advance if you want to visit this design statement.



About the designer

Pierre Chareau