Beginning around the 1940s, perhaps with Philip Johnson's famed Glass House in New Canaan, Conn., many an architect became preoccupied with the idea of designing homes with giant panels of glass. And while enthusiasm for crystalline walls is grounded in the architecture of the 1940s and '50s, particularly the works of midcentury masters like architect Richard Neutra or even Joseph Eichler, an influential developer, glassy contemporary homes continue to pop up across the globe. Take Amsterdam's Rieteiland House, a brand-spanking-new three-story home with an agape floor plan and 270-degree views. Sure, heating and privacy are probably issues, but the benefits of those glass walls are not hard to see; the design lets in lots of natural light and its sleekness is carried through to the home's interiors. Above: more stunning photos of transparent houses, from Richard Meier's design on Lake Michigan to Vera Wang's glassy estate in Beverly Hills.
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