Visiting Philip Johnson Glass House is always an extraordinary experience and I have regularly visited that icon since it was open to the public in 2007 following the deaths of both Johnson and his partner, David Whitney, when it was turned over to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. But the Glass House is only one of several pavilions which Johnson designed in his compound, seeking to create what he described as his “50-year diary,” a laboratory and showcase of a half century of modern architecture. His final structure, which Johnson completed in 1995, Da Monsta was inspired by German Expressionism and was based on a form created by his friend Frank Stella. In fact, it was a model that Stella created designed for a museum in Dresden, but it was never realized. Depending on the light, it makes you wonder whether the exterior is black and burgundy, or grey and red, colors Johnson described as referring to local New England traditional architecture. Da Monsta contains two rooms, and has only one opening in addition to the entrance door in the form of a small window, a perfect contradiction to the glazed Glass House.
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