The Maison de Verre (French for House of Glass) was built from 1928 to 1932 in Paris, France. Constructed in the early modern style of architecture, the house's design emphasized three primary traits: honesty of materials, variable transparency of forms, and juxtaposition of "industrial" materials and fixtures with a more traditional style of home décor.
The primary materials used were steel, glass, and glass block. Some of the notable "industrial" elements included rubberized floor tiles, bare steel beams, perforated metal sheet, heavy industrial light fixtures, and mechanical fixtures. The design was a collaboration among Pierre Chareau (a furniture and interiors designer), Bernard Bijvoet (a Dutch architect working in Paris since 1927) and Louis Dalbet (craftsman metalworker). Much of the intricate moving scenery of the house was designed on site as the project developed.
The external form is defined by translucent glass block walls, with select areas of clear glazing for tranparency. Internally, spatial division is variable by the use of sliding, folding or rotating screens in glass, sheet or perforated metal, or in combination. Other mechanical components included an overhead trolley from the kitchen to dining room, a retracting stair from the private sitting room to Mme Dalsace's bedroom and complex bathroom cupboards and fittings.
The program of the home was somewhat unusual in that it included a ground-floor medical suite for Dr. Jean Dalsace. This variable circulation pattern was provided for by a rotating screen which hid the private stairs from patients during the day, but framed the stairs at night.