Society of Architectural Historians offers unique opportunity to visit the Maison de Verre

The Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) presents “SAH in Paris: Modernist Masterworks,” a fundraising event that takes places on July 11-12 and includes visits to the Maison de Verre, the Villa Savoye and the Maison Louis Carré. The highlight of the event is a supper inside the iconic Maison de Verre, a private residence rarely open to the public. The special event benefits SAH Archipedia, the Society’s online encyclopedia of American architecture, and is limited to 25 people. Tickets are $2,500 (tax-deductible portion $2,000) and may be reserved by calling 312-573-1365.

The Maison de Verre was designed by Pierre Chareau and Bernard Bijvoet as a residence and medical office for the doctor Jean Dalsace and his wife. Completed in 1932, the house transformed domestic space with its use of modern materials including glass block, exposed steel beams and metal fixtures. Access to the house is usually only granted on a limited basis to architects and architecture students, but owner Robert Rubin, a former SAH board member, is opening his glass house to help raise funds for SAH Archipedia. Rubin said:

“SAH’s work is very important to me and to all of us engaged in the history of architecture. My wife and I are pleased to open our home with this unprecedented degree of access because we believe in SAH’s educational mission, which includes organizing transformative experiences in the world’s great buildings.”

After a day spent exploring two other iconic Modern masterpieces just outside Paris—Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye and Alvar Aalto’s Maison Louis Carré—participants will arrive at the Maison de Verre to enjoy supper, wine and conversation. Rubin and Mary Vaughan Johnson, the curator of the house, will give a seminar the following morning and share details of their meticulous conservation work. The group will be treated to lunch in the house’s garden, a spot not usually open to visitors. SAH Executive Director Pauline Saliga said:

“SAH is very grateful to Robert Rubin for opening his iconic Modern house for us this July not once, but twice,”

“Robert felt it was important to have our visitors experience the house at different times of day so they could see firsthand how the house’s character changes in the glow of sunset, in diffused morning light, and in the bright noontime sun. This is the quintessential architectural experience of a lifetime.”

The event benefits SAH Archipedia a media-rich, peer-reviewed online encyclopedia of American architecture developed by SAH in collaboration with the University of Virginia Press. In 2013, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) granted SAH $450,000 for the expansion and development of SAH Archipedia. In order to secure the entire NEH grant, SAH must raise $150,000 in matching funds. SAH Archipedia currently contains over 13,000 building histories, photographs, maps and essays from the Society’s award-winning Buildings of the United States series and is available to members in SAH Archipedia and to the public in its open-access counterpart, SAH Archipedia Classic Buildings. The Society’s goal is to add more than 4,000 histories of the most significant and representative buildings from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, providing a comprehensive online resource for American architecture.