A glass house is the white linen suit of architecture: so impractical, so vulnerable, that simply to own one is to boast of its own destructability: to wear a white linen suit suggests that you can afford a replacement. To own a glass house suggests that either you are a exhibitionist or — as in the case of the Hidden Pavilion — the owner of a forest of sufficient density to ensure privacy despite a lack of walls.
Hidden Pavilion (9 images)
This is not a big house: The Hidden Pavilion, by Spanish architectual firm Penelas Architects, is under 800 square feet. It is, though, even more ingenious in its flexibility than the fact that its walls are glass, bending and situating itself around a 200-year-old tree and featuring a veranda suspended alongside a waterfall. Younger trees are encouraged to grow beside the house or through open spaces in the terrace. The forest, meanwhile, supplies privacy that curtains could — but don’t, in this case.
Curiously, the two-floor residence was abandoned in 2010 and only just completed in December 2016. Perhaps it’s a sign of the house’s architectural sophistication and quotidien complexities: Like a temperamental sports car, we’d guess it’s much easier to look at than live with — or in.
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