Living in a Bubble: 15 Privacy-Free Transparent Houses

Shelter Island Hill House by Michael P. Johnson and Stuart Parr DesignClear Houses Johnson Parr 1Clear Houses Johnson Parr 2

Located on New York’s sparsely populated Shelter Island, this home by Stuart Parr Design & Michael P. Johnson Design consists of a clear box elevated above ground level on steel and concrete supports to better take in views of the sea.

Long Island House by Kanner Architects

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Another Long Island house, this one by Kanner Architects, has glass walls on all sides to look out over the Atlantic Ocean from various angles throughout the interior. FEMA requires the house to be elevated above the ground plane, so the architects created a carport for four cars and a glass entry lobby leading up to the two-level residence. Sheer white PVC ‘veils’ attached to the outer steel framework of the house provide a little bit of privacy at night.

Translucent House with Plastic Walls

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Translucent plastic encloses this home by Suppose Design Office, making it glow like a lantern after dark. Designed for a family with three children, the house in Hiroshima has a bright and open feel by day. The corrugated plastic affords only hazy, diffused views of the outside from within, or of the inside from without.

Glass House by Philip Johnson

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Almost certainly derived from Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House, the Glass House by architect Philip Johnson was built in 1949 in New Canaan, Connecticut as his own residence. Preoccupied with an idea of purity, the design leaves no room to hide a cluttered life. But, once again, a private location on top of a hill on a 47-acre estate makes that less of a concern than it would be in a busy urban setting.

Forest Lantern Home, Karuizawa, Japan

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The Ring House by TNA Architects is a country retreat outside Tokyo, wrapped in rings of glass and wood with 360-degree views of the forest. There are no neighbors, and the woods offer a dark haven, so the home feels secluded from the world despite its openness.