Friday, December 7, 2012


La Maison de Verre was both a home and office. The fact that Dr. Dalsace frequently had patients visiting the house for appointments was influential to the design of the home. It had to be adaptable to suit the needs of family life as well as professional practice. Chareau designed many aspects of the home to be transformable – especially passage ways. The ground floor of the home is where Dr. Dalsace worked and met with patients. In order to divide the living space from the doctor’s office, Chareau designed a moving partition to screen the main stairway, directing patients away from the private sphere of the home and towards the office. However, the partition was not opaque and allowed for glimpses of the space that lay beyond.

The house itself is set back from the street level, requiring visitors to pass through a courtyard before approaching the threshold. The courtyard serves as a preliminary threshold itself, giving a sense of separation and detachment from the bustle of the street. The doctor was a gynaecologist, and it seems that the removed setting of the house and office is attributed to the confidentiality that one would value in visiting the doctor. 

Careful consideration is also given to the desired pathways of Anne Dalsace, the doctor’s wife and Chareau’s friend. On the second floor, she is given a foldable stair-lader that allows her to travel discretely from her bedroom to a personal den. The room is a private sanctuary that overlooks the garden.

Carla Gruber

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