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Glass House Tribute in the Hudson Valley Seeks $2.25M

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A circa-2007 tribute to Philip Johnson's Glass House, that large-looming epitome of a severely modernist home, is up for sale in Ghent, N.Y. Designed by architect and Columbia University professor Michael Bell, the Gefter-Press House (also known as the Binocular House) takes the black steel H-beam frame of Johnson's masterpiece, incorporates a bit of Farnsworth-y white, and stretches it into a U-shape, so that the transparent exterior not only provides a direct connection to the surrounding Hudson Valley woodlands, but also back in on itself. The current asking price is $2.25M.

The listing text also claims that the home was inspired by Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House, which could be the case. It could also be true in the sense that all of the world's many glass houses, including the one of Ferris Bueller fame, and even the Glass House itself (completed before the Farnsworth but inspired by a preview of it), can be traced back to Mies. But Bell's work departs from many similar efforts by being adjustable, with each panel in its perimeter of 9' x 14' foot double-glazed panes able to slide open.

Those three sections (also pictured here with a floor plan) encompass a "large living/dining area with a woodburning fireplace" separated by a paneled wall from a "sleek European-style kitchen." The larger wing has two similarly partitioned bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, as well as a study, all arranged sequentially, so that "when the opaque sliding doors to the bedrooms are shut, they reveal a handsome library wall that functions like an art installation."

It's unclear whether the listed 2,200 square feet (on 12.73 acres) accounts for the "large, clean basement area" not pictured in the photos, which is there for "crucial storage space so that a minimalist style can be maintained."

· 45 Rigor Hill Road [Berkshire Property Agents]