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From 1928 to 1932, French architect and designer Chareau converted three floors of an 18th-century Parisian townhouse and courtyard into a modern, light-filled residence for author Vellay's grandparents, Annie and Jean Dalsace. Hence, this photographic essay (80 color and b&w photos; three plans) evokes strong personal connections and reminiscences. Vellay's minimal text accompanies photographer Halard's visual tour of translucent walls, mysterious staircases, bookcased balconies, remote-controlled screens that slide on curved rails, and modernist fixtures and furniture-all designed by Chareau. Close-ups highlight furniture details and the interplay of light on exposed metal supports and beams, hammered metal and wood textures, and woven carpets and textiles (many of which were designed by French artist Jean Lurçat). Invisible from the street, La Maison de Verre ("the glass house"), the culmination of Chareau's work as an architect, remains in the Dalsace family and is not open to the public-except, truly, through this work. Highly recommended for comprehensive design and architecture collections.
—Russell T. Clement