June 13, 2024


Giving your Home a new Option

Glass House by John Terence Kelly

As a student of two modernist icons—Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius and landscape architect Hideo Sasaki—John Terence Kelly had a knack for tying buildings to their sites. Case in point: His 1961 Glass House near Cleveland, Ohio, nestles a semicircular structure between a sloping hillside and a cascading waterfall. The transparent residence, which was recently listed for sale, also sits on six heavily wooded acres, all but guaranteeing privacy for its new owners.

The 1961 Glass House by John Terence Kelly is located in Chardon, Ohio, about 30 miles east of Cleveland. Kelly obtained both a Master of Architecture and a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from Harvard University, where he studied under Walter Gropius and Hideo Sasaki. Kelly is known for his designs in and around Cleveland, most notably the headquarters of ASM International, a collaboration with Buckminster Fuller. 

A masonry wall meets clerestory windows to form the back of the structure along a hillside. Two circular wall units are all that define the living spaces—one contains a fireplace and divides the living/dining area; the other separates one of three open bedrooms.

The 2,200-square-foot, post-and-beam structure is spread out across two levels. Featuring floor-to-ceiling glass along three sides, the largely open interior is also devoid of traditional walls. For instance, each of the home’s three bedrooms are divided only by a unique circular unit that encloses the two bathrooms and contains the closets. Similarly, a wall of cabinetry is all that separates the living area from the kitchen.

An opposite view of the living area reveals the wall of cabinetry dividing the kitchen.

The kitchen mixes modern updates such as new countertops, fixtures, and appliances with original cabinetry and lighting. A set of doors open up to the backyard.

Stunning views from nearly every direction overlook a manicured landscape, complete with a rolling lawn and water feature. The southern-facing home was also designed to maximize passive heating in winter and cooling in summer. Detached from the main house, a newly built, two-car garage sits at the top of the hill. Keep scrolling to see more of the home, currently listed for $599,000.

The opposite end of this floor is currently staged as an additional seating area, but it was once one of three original sleeping areas. The rounded unit in the middle hides a closet and bathroom.

The glass-walled rooms look out onto the cascading waterfall feature.

Stairs lead down to two more bedrooms or living areas.

The area at the bottom of the staircase is currently set up as a family room, however, like the above space, it could also serve as another sleeping area.

On the opposite end of the lower level, a subterranean corner of the home serves as the most private sleeping space and is currently used as the master bedroom. The second bathroom is hidden within the central circular unit.

The bathroom features a rounded, tiled shower and built-in shelving.

The eastern end shows off the home’s multilevel interior and the facade’s soft curve.

A recently built garage sits at the top of the hill. The detached structure opens at both ends, which enables it to serve as a covered entertainment area for the adjacent patio.

The garage’s hilltop patio looks across the lawn back toward the home. 

A view of the home’s southern facade shows the sloping landscape and multilevel structure.

A rear view displays the home’s sunken position against the hillside. The clerestory windows and wing-like trusses are all that can be seen.

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